Kitchen captain of Hearts

United States international Perry Kitchen has been handed the Hearts armband.

The midfielder has replaced Alim Ozturk, who has lost his place in the Hearts back four and not featured in the Ladbrokes Premiership this season.

Kitchen joined Hearts in March after leaving DC United and the 24-year-old’s approach has convinced head coach Robbie Neilson to appoint him club captain.

Neilson told the club’s official website: “I’ve been impressed by Perry’s attitude, desire and, of course, his performances from day one.

“He’s a natural and leads by example both on and off the park. He’s also a really good player and will inspire those around him to reach the highest standards.

“Ideally, we want 11 captains on the pitch every week. In recent times we’ve had Don Cowie lead the team out and Alim Ozturk skippered us to third place last season, so there’s that experience already there that will help us through games.

“I’d like to thank Alim for the huge part he played, and will continue to play, in helping the team to the top end of the league.

“It’s now Perry’s time to take over that responsibility and I’ve absolutely no doubt that he will flourish in the role of Hearts captain.”

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