Naismith: Hearts can help new signing James Penrice ‘reach new levels’

The 25-year-old joined the Tynecastle club from Livingston on a pre-contract agreement.

Hearts can help new signing James Penrice ‘reach new levels’ – Steven Naismith SNS Group

Steven Naismith believes Hearts can take James Penrice’s game to a new level after the left-back was confirmed as the club’s first new signing of the summer.

It emerged earlier this year that the 25-year-old had agreed a pre-contract with the Jambos as his deal with Livingston was expiring at the end of the season.

Penrice, who joined the Lions from Partick Thistle in 2021, was officially unveiled as a Hearts player on Tuesday.

The defender has agreed a three-year contract and will provide competition and cover for Stephen Kingsley and Alex Cochrane as the Edinburgh club prepare to juggle the demands of European group-stage football with domestic matters next term.

“We’re delighted to get James signed up,” manager Naismith told Hearts’ website.

“He’s someone who knows the domestic game well and has had to work really hard to get to where he is today.

“James has bags of talent, he’s got a great engine and he’s going to provide us with options.

“He’ll be an asset for us and he’s at a great age where there’s even more to come. We can develop him further and help him to reach new levels.”

Penrice was sidelined from February 3 onwards with a hip problem and unable to play any part in the closing months of the season as Livingston slipped to relegation.

Following the left-back’s arrival, the Jambos are expected to announce the signings of Blair Spittal and Yan Dhanda from Motherwell and Ross County respectively, with both of the attacking midfielders having also agreed pre-contracts earlier this year.

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