After signing with Newcastle at the end of September and joining the club this winter, Garang Kuol will spend the remainder of the season on loan at Scottish Premiership outfit Heart of Midlothian, Newcastle announced on Thursday.
The Australian striker Garang Kuol has joined Hearts until June and he will return to Newcastle after six months with no buy-clause included in the loan deal.
Kuol, who is only 18 years old, arrived in Tyneside in early January as part of the club’s winter transfer window and after appearing in the World Cup with the Socceroos, playing two games.
The Australia international opted to join fellow Australian players Cameron Devlin, Nathaniel Atkinson, and Kye Rowles at Hearts which made the decision to join the Scottish side an easy one for Kuol.
Of course, Newcastle’s coaching staff—led by Eddie Howe—approved the deal as they were reportedly keen to keep Kuol close to England and preferably playing in the UK so he could get accustomed to the pace and physicality of British football.
Robbie Neilson, manager of Hearts this season, already spoke about adding Kuol to his squad:
“It’s fantastic news that Garang has committed himself to Hearts for the next six months.”
“It’s no secret that we were extremely interested in him and he came up for a look around last week.”
“Kuol was impressed with what he saw and what we’re trying to do here, which is pleasing.”
“We’re getting a player who is by no means the finished article but there is a lot of talent there — you don’t get called up to and play in the World Cup for nothing.”
“He’ll offer us new options going forward as we look to continue our good form and continue to make progress in the league and in the Scottish Cup”
“We’re really looking forward to working with him.”
Kuol made 18 appearances for Central Coast Mariners in the A-League before moving to Europe earlier this month after the World Cup, and he scored six goals before his move while still playing Aussie football.
The youngster has appeared in three games with the Australian senior national team, two of them coming in the 2022 World Cup held in Qatar as one of the youngest players in the history of the Socceroos.
In fact, Kuol became the youngest player to ever feature at the World Cup with Australia, as well as the youngest to play in the knockout stages of the competition since the late Pele in 1958.
Kuol scored his first goal in the A-League in his first game played at that level back in April 2022 aged just 17. He recorded two goals and three assists in eight Australian top-flight fixtures this term despite only starting two matches.
Hearts are third in the Scottish Premiership. They host St. Mirren at Tynecastle Park today (Friday), but it’s still unclear if Kuol would already feature for them or if they’d ease him in as time progresses and he gets more comfortable with his teammates and coaches.