Preston North End lost Joe Savage to Heart of Midlothian last season, and he looks to be working wonders back up in Scotland.
Savage joined Alex Neil at Deepdale in 2017 having worked together at Norwich City.
The Scot wasn’t seen in the spotlight very often, but was a valued part of Neil’s backroom team.
Savage worked in the recruitment department at PNE without all that much praise, but that’s all changing now in Scotland…
Why did Savage leave PNE for Hearts?
Speaking to From The Finney, Savage indicated that he fancied a bigger role.
At PNE, Savage was Head of Player Recruitment, but Hearts were offering him the job of Sporting Director.
Savage was a key part of PNE’s recruitment team but he is now calling the shots at Hearts.
Add in that the deal allowed Savage to return to Scotland, and few could begrudge him the move.
Who has Savage signed for Hearts?
Hearts have had a very impressive first summer window with Savage leading their recruitment.
One signing we know all about, as Hearts signed winger Josh Ginnelly permanently from PNE after a loan spell last season.
The rest of the recruitment has been impressive. Beni Baningime already looks like a top midfielder in Scotland, whilst Barrie McKay on a free transfer looks like a huge move.
Australian midfielder Cameron Devlin from Newcastle Jets looks like a very intriguing signing, whilst Ross Stewart adds competition behind Craig Gordon.
Savage has worked the loan market brilliantly, landing something of a coup in Liverpool attacker Ben Woodburn, who was considered a wonderkid not all that long ago.
Hearts also signed left back Alex Cochrane and centre back Taylor Moore on loan from Brighton and Bristol City respectively to bolster their back line.
There is a great mix of players with real potential and players once touted for stardom that need to get back on track, and Savage has found that blend really well.
How are Hearts faring in the Scottish Premiership?
The league campaign started brilliantly with a 2-1 home win over Celtic, and Robbie Neilson’s side remain unbeaten in the Scottish Premiership.
Hearts picked up wins over St Mirren and Dundee United either side of a 1-1 draw with Aberdeen, and sit joint-top of the table with Edinburgh rivals Hibernian ahead of the meeting between the two sides this weekend.
Savage’s recruitment has played a huge role in such a great start to the season, and it’s no great surprise that he is now being billed as one of the best things to happen at Tynecastle in years.
We may never know just how much power Savage had at PNE, and the job at Hearts is different to the job at Deepdale, but he is really proving his worth away from North End.