Steven Naismith puts a lot of stock in a player's personality. Their character. Getting background on a prospective signing is a vital part of the recruitment process. An individual could tick many of the boxes in terms of the footballer Heart of Midlothian are looking for but if they are not the right person there is every chance it is not being pursued.

Those who are added are both good footballers and a good fit for the dressing room and team spirit that has been fostered at Tynecastle Park

Daniel Oyegoke - pronounced Oh-you-go-kay - has experienced the strength of that immediately.

"I've loved it, to be completely honest," he said. "I don't think I have ever come into a club and straight off the bat felt comfortable. They've made me feel really comfortable and the gaffer has already told me what he wants me to do and what he wants to see from me. It's really clear, we had a welcome meeting.

"Honestly, I feel it's a great place to be at, I feel like I'll do well."

Confident, engaging and enthusiastic, it is obvious how the new recruit from Brentford B, signed on a three-year deal, fits into that environment. And the environment is something that is important to Oyegoke as well.

He sounded out former Hearts duo Neil MacFarlane and Steven Pressley who he worked under at Brentford about the move.

"Told me it is a great club, filled with great people which for me is very important because that is who you are going to see on a day-to-day basis," he explained.

"It's a big club with a big fan base and I would be honoured and privileged to play for the club and I am. I am very, very happy I have made the decision to come up."

Still, joining a new club can be daunting, just like moving to a different workplace or school, but for Oyegoke it is something he has plenty of experience of. He moved from Barnet to Arsenal where he was switched from a forward to a defender by Per Mertesacker, the World Cup winner with Germany providing the "foundations of being a defender". Bukayo Saka was in the age group above.

When the pathway wasn't evident at Arsenal the decision was taken to move to Brentford B. During his time with the Bees he had two loan spells, before deciding to leave the Premier League side for Tynecastle Park.

There can be fewer decisions much bigger than leaving Arsenal when there was an offer of a new deal on the table. But it has contributed to the player's development, perhaps as much as a person as a player.

"I just felt at the time that I would be closer to the Brentford first-team than Arsenal's," Oyegoke explained. "I won't have known but that's what I felt at the time.

"At Brentford, I got to train with the first-team a lot and be in and around that group quite a bit so it was good for my development as a player even if I didn't play as much as I wanted to or get the opportunities in the first-team. I was able to be around that group so much that it has helped me as a player. Whereas at Arsenal I wasn't sure if I would get the same opportunities. 

"Yeah, it was hard to walk away but I believe it was the right decision for me. I think in football you have to be as selfish as you can. It's not always what it seems.

"For me, I've always been driven to take an uncomfortable step if I think the uncomfortable step will help me grow and maybe elevate me as a player quicker than maybe the traditional route that other players my age are doing then I'll take that step, I'm not fussed about that."

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Such decisions have provided experience. As has training with the first-team at Brentford, the nearly 50 games on loan and the 31 games for England at various age levels.

It was at Brentford where his defensive instincts were moulded.

Rewinding to that position switch, Oyeogke admitted he was young so he "wasn't happy at first" with the desire to get goals and glory.

"Who am I to tell them I want to be a striker if they think I should be a defender," he said. "To be fair, they probably did know because I was in the back four a year and then got called up for England. It seemed to be the right thing."

Former Brentford player now coach Sam Saunders and MacFarlane and Pressley were credited with "deep diving" into Oyegoke's game improving his "football understanding".

"Giving me the ability to dictate games and to show my brain on the football pitch," he said. "It was all from them so those three have been amazing for me. I spent a lot of time with each of them individually. I can't thank them enough because they put a lot of time into me. 

"With Neil, it was more group but he would take me to do one-on-one sessions, especially my early time at Brentford. Steven Pressley and Sam Saunders, especially Steven... I don't know how many hours I spent on the pitch just me, Steven, cones and a ball.

"One to one and that's where you learn the most I think. You can have dialogue. I can take a touch and he can stop it to say, 'You want it here because of this, this and this'. It's the detail that really matters in the end."

Neil MacFarlane and Steven Pressley played a key part in Oyegoke's development.Neil MacFarlane and Steven Pressley played a key part in Oyegoke's development. (Image: SNS)

One of Oyegoke's most valuable attributes is his versatility. He can play four different roles, centre-back in a back three or four, right-back and wing-back. 

Naismith simply views him as a right-sided defender. MacFarlane agreed but when pushed suggested the right of a back three could be his strongest position. What about the player himself?

"Brentford is quite similar to here, it literally flips," he said. "One week we play a four and I am playing right-back or centre-back in a four. Then the next week I am playing right of a three or wing-back. Literally in the last three years, we've been flipping between all three positions.

"Even at Arsenal, we did as well because when I was young there Unai Emery was playing three at the back and he wanted the whole academy to play three at the back. I feel comfortable in any [of the positions]."

Whatever role he does play, he has been asked to be "aggressive".

"Just to show my attributes," Oyegoke said of what Naismith wants from him. "Be aggressive, as aggressive as I can on the press. Also, show my calm and composure on the ball, make the right decisions.

"It has been a short period of time and I am sure there is going to be more and more detail that we are going to go into but so far what the staff has given me has been a good indication of how we are going to play going forward."