Hearts: Former Valencia midfielder Miguel Pallardo pens deal

Miguel Pallardo
Hearts new boy Miguel Pallardo battles with Barcelona's Cesc Fabregas during his time at Levante

Hearts head coach Robbie Neilson has expressed his delight at securing former Valencia midfielder Miguel Pallardo on a year-long contract.

The 28-year-old started his career at the Spanish giants and also played for Levante, Getafe and Almeria.

"He has a lot of experience in La Liga so he brings a different dimension to the club," Neilson said.

"It will be great for the team and for the young kids progressing to see guys who played in La Liga."

Neilson, who was named Scottish Championship manager of the month for August, has guided his side to top spot in the table thanks to four wins from four games.

He reckons Pallardo is the perfect addition to his squad, and revealed he and his backroom team will go the extra mile to help the player settle in.

"Miguel will be part of the squad right away, he didn't do pre-season so it will take him a week or so to get fit," Neilson said.

"He's a good player, he knows the game and you can see it right away in training.

"It's a big commitment for him to come over, he has a wife and two young kids back in Spain - he's going to come here until January then move the kids over.

Miguel Pallardo denies Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Levante
Miguel Pallardo denies Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo during his time at Levante

"His English isn't great but his agent was doing a lot of the translation. We're [coaching staff] going to get a Spanish teacher in to teach us a bit of Spanish to help us communicate with him, but he'll pick it up quickly. It'll help him settle in and help us."

Pallardo was a free agent and so able to sign for the Tynecastle side outwith the transfer window.

And the player has set his sights on securing promotion to Scotland's top flight with Hearts.

"It was a great opportunity to come to one of the historic clubs in Scotland," he said. "It's the right time in my career to look for that change and with the project that Hearts have at the moment, it seemed like the ideal opportunity.

"I was very impressed when I heard about the history of the club, the number of supporters who go to the games. Everything that surrounds it just felt good to me.

"I'm here to grow with the club and in a couple of years, play in Europe.

"The fans can expect I will work as hard as possible. I'm a team player and I will fight to get into the first team, I just want to help Hearts get promotion."