First team

Odel Offiah joins Jambos

18 August 2023

Heart of Midlothian Football Club is delighted to welcome Odel Offiah on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion.


The versatile defender has joined the Jambos on a season-long loan deal from the Premier League side, subject to international clearance.


20-year-old Odel is a product of Brighton’s youth system, joining the Amex Stadium side back in 2017.


A powerful and athletic player, comfortable in both wingback and centre half positions, he moved through the Seagulls’ ranks and made his professional debut  in August 2021, coming off the bench in a 2-0 EFL Cup win over Cardiff City.


His first start in a Brighton shirt came in January 2022, helping them to an FA Cup win over West Bromwich Albion.


A mainstay of the club’s U18 Premier League and Premier League 2 sides, Odel made his Premier League bow against Nottingham Forrest in April of this year, before going on to feature in another top tier match, against Newcastle United, a few weeks later.


He now makes the move to Gorgie to continue his development and bolster head coach Frankie McAvoy’s defensive options.


Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, Frankie said “It’s great to get Odel up here and the deal done.


“He’s a big, strong lad so I’ve no concerns about him being able to handle the physicality of Scottish football.


“But more importantly, he’s a good football player and one who will give us even more options in terms of squad depth.”


Technical Director Steven Naismith said: “We’ve added some real quality to the squad over the past couple of weeks and Odel is another piece of that jigsaw.


“He’ll bring versatility to our defence which is a real plus point, and with the attributes he possesses I know he’ll excel in any position he’s asked to play.


“It’ll be a whirlwind start for him but he’s here, will train with the team over the next couple of days with a view to being involved in Sunday’s Viaplay Cup game against Partick Thistle.”


Sporting Director Joe Savage said: “We’re really happy to get this deal done and welcome Odel to Hearts.


“Once again we had the inconvenience of rival clubs trying to muscle in at the last minute but Odel was steadfast in his desire to come to Hearts, which says it all about our standing in Scottish football.


“We’ve had a really good few weeks at the club in terms of recruitment and the action on the pitch getting started, and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say that I’m looking forward to watching Odel pulling on a Hearts jersey and helping the team to build on a positive start.”