The worst kept secret in Gorgie was finally confirmed today with the news that Jamie Walker has returned to Hearts, 18 months after he left Tynecastle for English side Wigan Athletic.

Speculation has been rife that the 26-year-old product of Hearts youth academy was looking to come home, and Hearts today confirmed the winger has signed a three-year deal.

The teenage Walker made his debut for Hearts in 2012 and made more than 180 appearances, scoring an impressive 40 goals in maroon before leaving for The Lactics in January 2018.

Walker told the official Hearts website:

“I’m delighted to be back. This club means a lot to me and I can’t wait to get back playing every week.”

It’s been frustrating. As a football player you want to be playing football.”

I’ve no bad words to say about Wigan. I went there, sometimes things don’t work out and that happened.

I’m delighted to be back here now. I’ve got over my injury and I’m just looking forward to getting back playing.

“I think the last six months when I was here before I left I wasn’t in the best of form, but I think if I can find the form of the previous goals and assists mentioned then I’ll be delighted. Here’s to hopefully another 40-odd goals.

I’m over the moon. When Craig Levein gave me the opportunity, the phone call to come back, it was always on my mind to return here – maybe a bit quicker than I expected – but I’m delighted to be back and I’m going prove to everyone that I want to be here and I’m going to do well.”

photo: Sky Sports