Yan Dhanda reveals Hearts family connection as fans labelled 'best in Scotland' by transfer recruit

The accent might be thick Brummy but Yan Dhanda insists Gorgie feels like home after he finally signed for Hearts.

The Jambos confirmed the English playmaker’s arrival on a three-year deal almost six months after he agreed a pre-contract to make the switch from Ross County. And while his two years in Scotland have been spent in the Highlands where he twice helped the Staggies beat the drop, Dhanda admits his first love north of the border was always Hearts.

His grandad and uncle have both held season tickets at Tynecastle for the past two decades. And now the former Swansea City and Liverpool midfielder can’t wait to strut his stuff at a place he is delighted to call home for real - and in front of fans he reckons are the best in the country. Speaking about his move for the first time as a Jambo, the 25-year-old said: "I'm just glad the waiting's done. I'm finally here now.

"I've known for quite a few months that I'm coming here, so I've been excited since the moment I signed quite a few months back. I'm very, very happy. I know that obviously they're amazing fans and probably the best in Scotland.

"I've had so many positive messages and people just wanted me to be announced. Obviously I couldn't say when I was getting announced, but now it's finally done. Hearts is in my family, my granddad and uncle have a season ticket here so I know how passionate the supporters are.

“They both live in Scotland, my uncle was born here, they've had a season ticket at Hearts now for 20 years. Since I’ve been growing up Hearts has been in the family. Every time they come to Birmingham and stay with the family all they speak about is Hearts and checking Hearts' results.

"So since I've been like seven or eight years old, I've been around it and I know how much this club means to them. I just can’t wait to play at the stadium in front of the supporters.”

Dhanda was a stand out for County in his two years at the Global Energy Arena. His contribution was huge as the Staggies beat the drop via the play-offs both seasons - scoring 12 goals in total.

But he’s gearing up for a different sort of challenge altogether with Steven Naismith’s high-flying Hearts side preparing for a Europa League qualifying campaign which at least guarantees group stage football in the Conference League.

Not only that but Dhanda is desperate to help the club land major silverware. He said: “It’s so exciting and I can’t wait to get going.

“Hearts did very well last season, I’m coming into a very good team that’s used to winning games. I hope to have a big influence. I want to help Hearts win stuff. That’s where this club should be. Playing in Europe will be new for me and I can’t wait for that. I think this club can achieve even better things than last season.”

Dhanda will link-up with former Swansea team-mate Barrie McKay in Gorgie and added: “I speak to Barrie quite often. We’re good friends and he actually assisted my first ever professional goal! So hopefully many more of those in a Hearts kit.”

Dhanda is Hearts sixth signing of the summer and boss Steven Naismith said: “It’s more really positive news to get Yan in the door. If you look back at his career, he dealt with the pressure of being a top prospect in a big club’s academy at Liverpool and decided he didn’t want to just be comfortable by being associated with a big club, he wanted to go out and play and progress his career.

“He did that at Swansea City and Ross County, and now he’s getting his rewards for all of his hard work over the past few years by coming to Hearts.”