Homegrown: Lewis Neilson

Hearts got a real bargain when they got Neilson on a free from Dundee United as the youngster looks like he has the potential to be a national team player in the future. Comfortable on the ball he’s similar in style to John Souttar, could he follow his career path and go from Dundee United to Hearts and then Rangers?

Name – Lewis Neilson

Age – 19

Nationality – Scottish

Position – Centre Back

Club – Hearts

He has made twelve SPFL appearances this season and four UECL appearances alongside appearing for Scotland U21s. He impressed at the start of the season but recently found himself out of favour, does that make it a good time to swoop in and get him at a cut price?

This season he is averaging 58% of total duels won, winning 59% of ground duels and 57% of aerial duels, excellent numbers despite the smaller sample size. He also only averages 0.5 fouls per game which highlights the quality of his tackling and timing.

As previously mentioned he is a progressive modern CB who is comfortable on the ball and an accomplished passer, the type of CB Rangers desire. His passing numbers this season look like this;

  • Accurate per game – 19.4 (79%)
  • Acc. own half – 12.9 (87%)
  • Acc. opposition half – 6.5 (67%)
  • Acc. long balls – 3.2 (55%)

The attempts in the opposition half show his willingness to get forward and move the ball forward also. Connor Goldson currently averages 55% accuracy on long balls, albeit on more attempts. This still shows the quality of Neilson’s passing though and hopefully those numbers could increase in a more ball dominant side.

He is in a similar position to Leon King in that he’s proven he has quality and potential but isn’t currently first choice. There’s a lot more to come from Lewis Neilson so is now the perfect time for Rangers to swoop in and get him on the cheap? Or would this be a waste of a transfer as Leon King is already awaiting his chance?

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