It’s been a busy January transfer window at Tynecastle Park, with incomings, outgoings and new contracts.
With no more business anticipated, we’ve pulled together a recap of all the deals done in Gorgie this month…
In: Dexter Lembikisa
The first addition of the January window saw Hearts capture the loan signing of Jamaica international Dexter Lembikisa – who joined on loan from Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers until the end of the season.
A product of the Molineux side’s youth system, the 20-year-old spent the first half of the campaign on loan at EFL Championship side Rotherham United before making the switch to Gorgie.
With Nathaniel Atkinson away with Australia at the Asia Cup, Dexter has quickly endeared himself to the support with marauding displays down the right side; capping off an excellent debut month in Edinburgh with a goal on his first league start in the 3-2 fightback against Dundee at Tynecastle as the Jambos completed an unbeaten month on league and cup business.
In: Scott Fraser
No stranger to Scottish football: 28-year-old attacking midfielder Scott Fraser joined the Jambos this month on a loan deal until the end of the campaign from EFL Championship outfit Charlton Athletic.
Fraser, who made his name after breaking into the first team at Dundee United in 2014, brings a wealth of experience back to Scotland from spells at Burton Albion, MK Dons, Ipswich Town and finally Charlton.
An old teammate of Liam Boyce’s from their time in Staffordshire, Scott could make his debut in a maroon jersey when the Jambos travel to Dens Park this Saturday to face Dundee in the cinch Premiership.
New Deal: Alan Forrest
Flying winger Alan capped off an impressive first half of the season by signing a new contract until the summer of 2026.
The 27-year-old has gone from strength to strength since joining from Livingston, and a string of eye-catching performances this term was rewarded with a new deal.
He bagged a memorable Edinburgh Derby goal back in October and provided two assists in a crucial 2-0 win at Livingston before the January break.
Head Coach Steven Naismith said: “He’s a hard worker, always keen to learn and I think everyone can see his performances on the pitch continue to get better as the games go by.
“He’s made a big impact here since joining and we’re delighted he’s going to be around for a while longer.”
New Deal: Craig Halkett
Hearts received a significant boost this month with the news that towering centre-back Craig Halkett had committed his future to the club until 2026.
A mainstay at the back since joining on a free transfer from Livingston in 2019, Craig has recently returned from a year out of action after recovering from a major ACL injury to reclaim his spot in matchday squads.
Steven Naismith was delighted to secure a massive figure in the Hearts dressing room for next few seasons, he told the Official Hearts Website: “It’s another bit of really positive news that Halks has signed a new contract to stay at the club.
“Aside from his obvious ability, he’s a leader and well-respected inside the dressing room. He had a torrid time of it last season with injuries and you could see that his presence on the pitch was missed as the team went through a tough period.
“I’m delighted that he’s back in the first team picture and getting more and more minutes under his belt. His form prior to his injuries was excellent, which was proven with a Scotland call up, and I’m confident that Halks will be able to reach those levels again as he works back to full fitness. From there, he’ll get better and better as we continue a busy run of games.”
New Deals: Ethan Drysdale and Harry Stone
There was further positive news to share this month as the club confirmed it had tied two talented young players down until 2025 – defender Ethan Drysdale and goalkeeper Harry Stone.
Ethan, who has been with the club since the age of 10, continues to impress following his return from injury and is going from strength to strength featuring on a regular basis at left-back for Hearts B in the Scottish Lowland League.
Harry meanwhile is currently enjoying a productive loan spell at Queen of the South, following a successful spell in the B Team last season.
The pair have now pledged their futures to the club and will remain in Gorgie for the next 18 months.
The club bid farewell to several players this month: some on a permanent basis whilst others departed on-loan to receive first team minutes elsewhere.
Andy Halliday completed a loan switch to Motherwell this month, which will become permanent in the summer. Meanwhile, Alex Lowry returned to parent club Rangers whilst Michael McGovern joined Livingston until the end of the campaign.
Academy graduate Connor Smith was another to say farewell, he made a permanent move to St Johnstone during the transfer window.
Makenzie Kirk, who enjoyed a prolific first half of the season with the B Team, joined Hamilton Accies until the season’s end, whilst young defender Callum Flatman made a short loan switch to Edinburgh City in cinch League One.