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Dublin: 9 °C Friday 5 June, 2020

Hearts announce departure of Glenn Whelan

The Irish midfielder’s stint at the club was made brief having fallen out of favour under new manager Daniel Stendel.

Glenn Whelan tackles Alfredo Morelos in a Scottish Premiership game earlier this season.
Glenn Whelan tackles Alfredo Morelos in a Scottish Premiership game earlier this season.
Image: Jane Barlow

GLENN WHELAN’S ABRUPT departure from Hearts has today been announced by the club. 

His exit was confirmed by a short statement on the club’s website. 

“Glenn Whelan has today left Heart of Midlothian Football Club by mutual agreement”, read the statement.

“The Republic of Ireland midfielder made 17 appearances during his four-month spell in Gorgie. The club wishes Glenn well in the future.” 

Whelan joined the club as a free agent last summer but has been frozen out by new manager Daniel Stendel, who replaced Craig Levein in December.

Whelan played the first three games of Stendel’s reign, but was dropped for the Edinburgh derby on St Stephen’s Day and had his leadership qualities questioned by the new manager. 

“I can say he is a good type,” Stendel told reporters last month. “He wants to take the responsibility but I have seen only three games. Do you have the feeling he is a leader in this group? It’s not Glenn’s fault — but a real leader in the centre of the pitch? Sorry. Maybe I missed it. Michael Smith tries to take responsibility on the pitch.

“Before I came here, they signed some players who have experience and are the right age to take the responsibility but maybe they are not fit at the moment or they cannot handle the situation at the moment.”

35-year-old Whelan must now find a new club ahead of Ireland’s Euro 2020 play-off with Slovakia on 26 March, having become an important fixture in the Irish midfield during the qualification campaign throughout 2019. 

Hearts, meanwhile, lie bottom of the Scottish Premiership having collected a meagre 13 points from 21 games. 

With reporting by Paul Fennessy 

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Gavin Cooney

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