Things to Know About Highly-Rated Defender Aaron Hickey

02 August 2020 09:09

Remember Aaron Hickey? The Scottish kid who was linked with Manchester City late last year, but was then swiftly buried under the weight of Hearts being rubbish?

Yeah, he's back in the news again, with the BBC claiming Bayern Munich, Aston Villa and Bologna have entered the frame to sign him.

So, who is he? And why are so many major clubs falling over themselves to tempt him away from Edinburgh?

90min has everything you need to know about the 18-year-old who seems to be making waves all over the continent.

1. He'll Be Available at a Snip

Under normal circumstances, a player as talented as Hickey would demand a pretty huge fee, but Hickey's circumstances are not what you'd call normal.

Hearts owner Ann Budge was open back in March about just how dire the club's financial situation was, and that was before they were disastrously (if contentiously) relegated from the Scottish Premiership.

On top of that, Hickey's contract is up next summer, so a bid in the region of £1.5m is expected to be enough to secure his services.

You can see, then, why there's a queue round the block for the teenage prodigy.

2. There's a Few Clubs Interested

The list of clubs in the running reads like a deleted verse from Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire.

Before Bayern, Villa and Bologna, we've had Celtic - who 90min reported back in May were favourites - Manchester City, Chelsea, Everton, Crystal Palace, Southampton, Sheffield Wednesday, Milan and Lazio all linked, and we've still got at least two months of the window left.

His agent has the easiest job in the world.

3. The Next Andy Robertson?

Hickey has been compared to former Celtic academy player Andy Robertson

That's what a YouTube compilation from October 2019 says, anyway.

That's a bit of a stretch, given all Robertson has accomplished since leaving Scottish football behind, but the superficial parallels are there.

Hickey has been praised for his tenacity, while his robust attacking style of play suggests he's learned a lot from watching the Scotland captain on TV.

He has a remarkable engine too - if he can start racking up the assists, then we might be able to talk.

4. He Doesn't Have a Preferred Foot

Is he a left back or a right back? Who knows?

His right foot may be the marginally stronger of the two, but he is as ambidextrous as they come, making him such an unpredictable attacking option when he explodes forward down one of the flanks.

Most of his Hearts appearances have come on the left hand side, owing to their lack of quality in the position, but he is just as capable of hitting the byline and floating one over as he is of coming in on his right and scoring the winner in a derby.

5. 'Head in the Clouds'

Hickey's Hearts team-mates agree he is destined for the top

At just 18, you could forgive Hickey for letting the speculation and fanfare get to his head. According to team-mate Lewis Moore, however, his affable, easy-going personality means that just won't happen.

“Aaron has already played so many games and been linked with some of the biggest teams in the world – it’s been incredible to see,” Moore told Deadline News.

“But it’s definitely not affecting Aaron. He’s the most laid-back guy you could ever meet – he probably doesn’t even realise that he is being linked with all these teams!

“His head is in the clouds sometimes. He just goes out and plays his football - and what a player he is."

6. Big Game Experience

As alluded to by Moore, Hickey can boast an astonishing amount of experience for such a young player.

In 2019, aged just 16, he became the youngest player ever to start a Scottish Cup final, and he followed that up with 34 senior appearances over the 2019/20 campaign.

Because Hearts are a shambles, he's already working under his third manager and preparing for life in the Championship, but it will be a serious turn-up for the books if he's still there when their season starts in October.

Source: 90min