Date: 1st February 2011 at 1:21pm
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Hearts are reportedly interested in bringing Andy Webster back to the club after the player was freed by Rangers last night.

Webster was one of the mainstays of the Hearts side that initially looked as though it would challenge for the league title under George Burley in 2005/6. He had been gradually maturing and developing into one of the country`s finest centre-halves after being plucked from Arbroath by former manager Craig Levein four years earlier. As he improved, the more a move to a bigger club always looked likely to be on the cards, especially as he was regularly playing for Scotland at the time.

However when Webster did eventually leave the club during that infamous 05/6 season, the nature of his exit left a bad taste in the mouth. Despite the full facts of the situation never making it into the public domain (or not to my knowledge anyway), many fans now see Webster as something of a hate figure for his part in a perceived conspiracy with Rangers to manufacture a deal which saw him moving temporarily to Wigan and ending up at Ibrox the following summer. The player`s alleged arrogance during this whole affair was also something that riled the fans who had treated him well during his time at Tynecastle.

Webster`s move to Wigan went sour when he sustained a serious injury which continues to hinder him to this day, and as a result he has rarely been able to command a regular place in anyone`s starting line-up since. Last season`s loan spell at Dundee United – where he captained them to a Scottish Cup win – saw him returning to the sort of form we`d been accustomed to seeing at Tynecastle, but since returning to Ibrox again he seems to have found breaking into their team very difficult. One must therefore deduce that there is still a big question mark over his fitness, as the abilities of Webster compare favourably with the current central defensive line-up of Weir and Bougherra at Ibrox. In fact you would logically imagine that a fully fit Webster would be the ideal successor to Weir when he hangs up his boots, something likely to happen in the near future one would think.

Having been freed by Rangers last night after a proposed swap deal to Dundee United fell through though, Hearts would appear to be in the frame for taking Webster back. It will obviously be seen as a slightly controversial move due to what`s gone before, not to mention the fact that despite his recent poor fitness record, Webster is still likely to command a high salary (reportedly United couldn`t get near the estimated £9-10K per week wages).

The question is, would you see the return of Webster as a positive move by Hearts? If he can re-produce the form we`ve seen in the past then I think it most definitely could be a great move for the club, but only if he is going to be fit enough. It would be poor business to splash out on a big salary for a guy who will hardly play – we`ve already had enough players in that category in recent years. So perhaps something like a ‘pay as you play`, high-incentive deal would be more appropriate, which is allegedly the sort of package that Rudi Skacel is currently on at Tynecastle.

Either way, it`s certainly a potential signing worth discussing?..


7 Replies to “Hearts To Bring Back Andy Webster?”

  • I suspect his release by Rangers has more to with their financial problems rather than his fitness. The news that JJ is meeting him today is certainly a bit of a surprise – because it makes you wonder if Vladimir sanctioned this at the weekend when he was here. If he hasn’t, then we’d better hold on to our seats – things could get bumpy !! Apparently Hibs are interested too (can’t see them affording him) – but I’d say Dundee Utd or a third-rate English side are probably favourites. Worth pursuing though …..

  • I’d love to see him back, surely he’d lower wage demands rather than be out of the game for a long period – but then goncalves didnt…. the way i see it, if rudi came back, and the door seemed at least ajar for Hartley, Webster is not one to be ruled out – i don’t want to hear he’s on a big wage tho, pay as you play seems fair.

  • You can relax SH, it’s been reported in several places (including the official website) that Vlad has sanctioned this – whatever ‘this’ ends up being. I imagine that JJ has been instructed as to what he can offer him, and then it’s up to Judas if he wants to take it or not. I notice in an interview with him last night by Sky Sports, he seemed pretty happy about leaving Ibrox and wondered why it had taken them so long. I myself am unsure on whether returning would be good for Hearts. We have a good team spirit going which is getting us to punch slightly above our weight at times, and someone with Webster’s history might be just the bad egg that destroys it. He is a good player, and his time at Utd suggests that he hasn’t yet lost that, but nevertheless I’m wary of him….

  • I’d love to know exactly what went on when he left though. Everyone seems to be pretty certain that he was the villain of the piece, but he wasn’t the only player leaving the club at that time…..

  • in fairness, i thought even romanov blamed websters agent at the time. unfortunately, i think he still has the same agent, so maybe not the last we hear of that! anyway, welcome back to hearts mr webster, I for one hope you recover the form that you had a few years ago and do a real turn for us.

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