EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 29: Aaron Hickey of Hearts celebrate at the final whistle during the Scottish Cup Quarter Final match between Hearts and Rangers at Tynecastle Park on February 29, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, Premier League outfit Crystal Palace are said to be tracking the progress of Hearts’ Scottish left-back Aaron Hickey. The prodigious youngster is still only 17-years-old but grasped the first-team opportunity that he was given last season. It has been suggested that the London club are yet to make an official bid to the Scottish side, who themselves have been going through a period of financial turmoil, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report claims that the youngster’s contract at the Scottish club is set to expire at the end of next season, at which point they would have to run the risk of losing him on a free transfer. Selling him, on the other hand, would offer the SPFL club a financial lifeline, as they have suffered quite terribly due to the closure of the league season.

Clubs like Manchester City, Everton, Southampton and Celtic are also said to have watched the youngster in the past, but it has been clarified that the Eagles are undoubtedly in the best position at this point.

Scouting 17-Year-Old Aaron Hickey

Who Is Aaron Hickey?

Born in Scotland’s major footballing city – Glasgow, the youngster initially began his youth career with Hearts. Having impressed with the youth setup at the club, the left-back was quickly snapped up by Celtic in the summer of 2017. Despite making the move that should’ve arguably launched his career, the left-back was forced to return to Hearts.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND – NOVEMBER 03: Aaron Hickey of Heart of Midlothian is seen prior to the Betfred League Cup semi final between Rangers and Heart of Midlothian at Hampden Park on November 03, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Since making the switch back to his boyhood club though, it’s safe to say that the youngster has begun to allow his real talent to shine through. Almost as if the failed Celtic move made him more determined to make it, the 17-year-old is now a regular in the Hearts’ first-team and continues to impress with each passing appearance. He was first brought into the team as a 16-year-old, back in May of 2019, after which he went on to start in the Scottish Cup final defeat at the hands of Celtic.

Why Crystal Palace Should Make A Move Now?

From Hearts’ perspective, the transfer fee they receive for a talented young defender from a Premier League club should be enough to allow them a little more breathing room, amid the financial calamity that they currently seem to be going through. Even from a strictly footballing viewpoint, this move would make a fair bit of sense for the Eagles, whose only natural left-back option at this time is former Chelsea starlet Patrick Van Aanholt.

Having played in 22 fixtures for Hearts this season, Hickey has been quite impressive in the Scottish Premiership, and he’s picked up a goal and an assist along the way as well. The youngster boasts raw pace as well as the ability to pick out cross-field balls, despite being just 17. Although there is an obvious risk involved in signing a teenager, the fact that clubs like Manchester City have been tracking him should be enough to motivate Roy Hodgson into making a move in the summer.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.