First Team

Armand is new No.9

25th January 2021

Robbie Neilson has bolstered his options in the final third with the addition of striker Armand Gnanduillet.

The Jambos beat off strong interest from the English Championship to sign the French-born Ivory Coast frontman on an 18-month deal, subject to international clearance.

28-year-old Armand has extensive experience of British football after spending the majority of the past eight-years playing in England, and was Blackpool’s top scorer for the last two seasons.

A towering 6ft 4” tall, Armand started his career with French side Le Havre before spending six-months at AS Poissy, also in France.

Capped at U20 level for Ivory Coast, he was also called up to their U23 side for the 2011 CAF African U23 Championships.

In January 2013 he made the move across the Channel to sign for Chesterfield. Following three years at The Spireites, including loan stints at Tranmere Rovers, Oxford United and Stevenage, Armand joined Leyton Orient for an undisclosed fee in January 2016.

Six months later the forward would sign for Blackpool, where he helped The Seasiders to League Two Play-Off final glory over Exeter City in 2017, scoring a crucial goal in the semi-final victory against Luton Town.

Armand’s return of 14 then 18 goals saw him become Blackpool’s top scorer in all competitions in seasons 2018/19 and 2019/20.

A four-month spell in Turkey with Altay came to an end in December 2020, and now the big striker has joined Robbie’s side as the men in maroon continue their quest for league success.

Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, Robbie said; “It’s no secret we’ve been looking for a striker and I’m delighted to get Armand in because he ticks all of the boxes.

“He’s quick, strong and has a real presence about him and, of course, he can score goals.

"There was a lot of interest in him elsewhere from some big clubs so to get him signed up is a bit of coup."

“He’ll bring something different to the team and I’m looking forward to working with him.”