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What will Spittal and Penrice bring to Hearts?

It seems to have been a busy few days at Tynecastle, with Motherwell midfielder Blair Spittal and Livingston left-back James Penrice both set to join Hearts on pre-contracts next season.

Spittal's goal contributions immediately catch the eye. 11 goals and nine assists make him one of the most productive players in the Scottish top-flight this term. Only Lawrence Shankland, Matt O'Riley and James Tavernier have a higher overall output in the Premiership.

A deeper look at the numbers show just how integral the 28-year-old has been at Fir Park this season, with the midfielder showing up well in chances created and possession won.

The question now will be whether Spittal can replicate his fine form in the capital next term, or whether this purple patch filters out in front of an expectant Gorgie crowd.

Meanwhile, Penrice has had to scrap and claw for moments in the spotlight during Livingston's turgid season at the bottom of the table.

The 25-year-old has still found a way, picking up five assists in all competitions. He turned in perhaps his best performance of the campaign at Easter Road in August as he helped dismantle Hibs in Lee Johnson's final game in charge. One way to endear yourself to Hearts fans.

Penrice is also one of the division's top tacklers according to the stats, and is in the top 10 for successful open play crosses in the league despite Livingston's woes.

Clearly, both are competent Premiership players who have stood out in teams well below Hearts' standard this season. With Steven Naismith's side looking likely for group stage European football, adding proven commodities for free seems to be a low-risk scenario.

It remains to be seen whether they - as well as Ross County's Yan Dhanda - can step up and make their mark in maroon as Hearts look to cement their place as serial European qualifiers and cup contenders.

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