Craig Cairns takes a look at how Hearts’ China-bound striker Osman Sow has scored his goals this season, helping Robbie Neilson’s side to third place.
Sow was born in Stockholm and started his career with spells at a few local clubs. A short stint in Moldova was followed by a return to his homeland and then by a move to Crystal Palace.
Unfortunately for Sow, injury hampered his progress and he left the club after failing to make a first-team appearance. Fortunately for Hearts, he ended up in Gorgie and led the line as they romped to the Championship title.
Sow scored 12 times last season, including on his debut against Annan Athletic. He made his league debut at Ibrox and scored a remarkable last-minute winner, just moments after the home side had equalised.
With less than six months remaining on his current deal, the Swedish striker looks set to secure a move to China with Henan Jianye. The deal is reported to be worth in excess of £1m, though hadn’t been completed at the time of writing and he could feature against Hibernian in the Scottish Cup.
Of the 11 goals the 25-year-old has scored this season, three have come from the penalty spot. Of his other eight, four have been scored from outside the box, displaying his ability to shoot from distance, with his last-minute equaliser versus Celtic a stand-out.
Despite being 6ft 4in, Sow does not possess great aerial ability and is not the type of striker that thrives on crosses. His threat lies more in receiving a pass and carving out opportunities by driving at the opposition defence.
Of his eight goals not from the spot, four have been assisted through a short pass, two through cut-backs and one via a header. The other, his goal versus Celtic, was a free kick laid off by Prince Buaben, essentially a short pass. He has also created goals for others this season, chalking up six assists.