Robbie Neilson continues to build his squad for next season’s domestic and European campaign with the acquisition of highly-rated defender Lewis Neilson.
The Scotland youth cap joins the Jambos on a free transfer, penning a three-year deal following the expiration of his contract at Dundee United.
Standing at an imposing six foot and three inches, Lewis is able to play at right-back and in the centre of defence, and also has experience of playing in midfield on occasion.
The 19-year-old arrives at Tynecastle after a decade long association with the Terrors, having come through the Tannadice outfit's youth system before breaking into the first team in the 2020/21 season.
Lewis made his United debut in a 1-1 draw against St. Johnstone at Tannadice on the opening day of the 20/21 Premiership season, and made ten appearances before impressing in a January loan to Falkirk - gaining valuable experience in the Bairns' League One promotion push.
He now wears maroon, and will continue his development as a Hearts player.
Speaking to the Official Hearts Website, the manager said: “Lewis is someone I’ve known for a while as he was coming through the ranks at Dundee United when I was manager there.
“Even back then you could see his potential and he’s continued to improve, so I'm delighted that we’ve been able to bring him to Hearts.
“He’s a very quick and strong player with all the attributes needed to make it at the top level, and I’m sure Hearts will provide the perfect environment for Lewis to work hard, develop and take his career forward.”
Sporting Director Joe Savage said: “We were interested in Lewis as soon as we heard there was a chance he might not renew his contract at Dundee United.
"To get him on a free transfer is great business from our perspective. We're overwhelmed by it, to be honest. At the age he is, with a chance to develop him further. Robbie and his coaching staff raved about him. He's someone that Robbie thinks is very good and that we can make him into an even better player,
“It's good to go down the route of attracting young Scottish players, when we can, it shows that we're committed to our roots of developing footballers. We've done Alan Forrest, and now we've done that with Lewis. We're delighted."