Craig Levein said earlier in the transfer window that he was looking for a central midfielder to cover the injured Peter Haring, but now he has two who could well be starters for Hearts.

Glenn Whelan's move to Tynecastle has been confirmed after lengthy discussions and the 35-year-old Republic of Ireland official has signed a one-year contract with the Jambos.

He joins Frenchman Loic Damour, who left Cardiff City to play four years in maroon last week.

Levein's midfield is no less powerful than defense and attack, as it is probably the weakest area of ​​the team after injuries and failures along the way.

If Manchester City's Japanese attacking midfielder Ryotaro Meshino can sign a loan deal, Hearts squad on paper will be as strong as it has looked in recent years and comparable to any other in the league outside of Celtic and Rangers.

Whlean is 35 years old and has extensive experience. He has played more than 460 games in the English Premier League and English Championship with Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday, Stoke City and Aston Villa for more than a decade.

With 85 caps for the Republic of Ireland, Whelan will not be troubled at this stage of his career.

Apart from that, it will be the first big step he is taking personally. Levein explained that part of the reason why Whelan needed extra time to sign up for Hearts was that he always stayed in the same area while playing in the South.

Veteran or novice, that's a big change in a player's life, though he's obviously convinced it was worth the effort to move to Edinburgh.

But what brings Whelan playfully? Aston Villa writer on sister title Birmingham live Ashley Preece gave us the inside view from a villa perspective.

"It was a wrong season for Whelan in Villa, having withdrawn a million pounds from Stoke City," he said.

"The 35-year-old had a difficult start to midfield, which coincided with a bad start to the season. Villa looked leggy and sluggish and had no faith until Steve Bruce was released in October.

"Dean Smith prefers a three-man midfield and prefers a trio of Conor Hourihane, John McGinn and Jack Grealish. However, the Irishman fought back brilliantly and was Smith's first choice to help Villa locate games. Often he was made to keep things intact and to be the experienced mind needed in the last tense moments.

"Whelan has seen an upswing in form and the Villa fans have been taking him over the months, maybe 35, but he has often eliminated lost causes when the Villa fans shouted at him with the cries of Whelan Whelan! Whelan! & # 39; – He had literally knocked down his opponent relentlessly to regain the ball, and in the end, "Whelo" was a hero and did a good job.

I think the midfielder will fit in well with Scottish football at his age. He is a leader and Hearts would be a great place to find out what a great career was.

"He will help the younger players and have a real connection with the followers. He is a typical Dublin man who grafts and fights for every ball, while also having a wide selection of short and long passes.

"Whelan would sit in front of the back four, guard the defense and be a quiet head in the middle of the park in Tynecastle. It will certainly be a wise signature."

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