Heart of Midlothian have secured their January transfer window priority by signing a right-back. Dexter Lembikisa has joined on a loan deal until the end of the season from Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers, the club confirmed on Friday, subject to Scottish FA approval and international clearance.

When it became apparent another option on the right side of defence was needed there were different options considered, but the club opted for the English-born Jamaican international.

A likely factor going in the 20-year-old's favour was his game time. With a return to action next weekend in the Scottish Cup against The Spartans and Nathaniel Atkinson possibly missing as many as six matches, Hearts required someone to be able to hit the ground running. Lembikisa arrives having played plenty of football so far this campaign on loan at Rotherham United in the English Championship. With 27 appearances and 2,164 minutes under his belt, only four Hearts players have played more often: Zander Clark, Frankie Kent, Kye Rowles and Lawrence Shankland.

READ MORE: Dexter Lembikisa: Hearts confirm loan signing of full-back, what Naismith said

This isn't a player arriving north of the border whose only experience is Premier League 2 football and therefore in danger of a shock to the system. He has had a taste of the English Championship grind. The loan move to Rotherham came about after a season where he was on the periphery of the Wolves first-team squad.

"He's going to have some really tough games against some really good opposition," Steven Davis, Wolves' pathway manager said at the time of his move to Rotherham. "The wingers in that league will be good and some are top Championship and Premier League wingers, so he's going to get tested."

And tested he was.

Rotherham have been the worst team in the Championship, conceding just shy of two goals per game. Lembikisa endeared himself to fans early on, to the point he was seen as cult figure material, but as the season progressed he came in for difficult moments. Paul Davis of the Rotherham Advertiser noted: "A move which had started so well and promised so much hadn't quite worked."

Former Rotherham boss Matt Taylor had issued a note of caution when he was signed in the summer: “He will have his moments of inconsistency. The Championship takes its toll on any young player.”

Wolves, having recalled the youngster, no doubt saw the positives of a loan to Scotland and more so Hearts. The schedule is not as intense and there is more time on the training ground. He will join a team that is far more front-foot than Rotherham. When Atkinson is available, Lembikisa won't be required to play every minute. He will have to compete for a starting spot with the Aussie who has grown under Naismith.

Davis, following the player's exit from the Millers, wrote of defensive inconsistencies and failings in the concession of some goals but was keen to stress that his talent had "never been in doubt".

"Dexter was dashing in attack, he backed himself on the ball, he could slip by an opponent for fun, he played without fear, sometimes he delivered a devastating cross

"Rotherham did well to get him in the summer amid interest from bigger Championship sides. It's possible he will now join one of those and bloom in more attacking circumstances. Those quick feet, in the right setting, could spark quick progress."

READ MORE: Steven Naismith: Hearts recruitment role, squad evaluation and 4 transfer categories

Tynecastle Park may well be the "right setting". He will go from a team that average 34.3 per cent possession to one that has a 54.9 per cent share of possession. He should be able to showcase his attacking, forward-thinking talent with less intensity and stress on the defensive side.

“He’s an exciting full-back who likes to get involved in team attacks and he shows defensive traits ahead of his years," Steven Naismith said of his new recruit.

The radar below is not all that encouraging but it is important to reiterate he has been part of a poor Rotherham team heading for relegation. Just because he has not excelled in one environment - that of a struggling team - doesn't mean it will be the case at Hearts where what is asked of him will likely be much different.

Hearts Standard:

There are three standout strengths from looking at the metrics. He is dominant in one-on-one situations, while he rarely gives a foul away. Impressive when you consider he is a full-back who is eager to put pressure on the winger. He won't be standoffish. Watching him in action he is athletic and possesses a long stride to eat up ground quickly. 

“I like being in 1 v 1’s. I’m a strong defender in those situations, but I also like to attack," he told HeartsTV. "I’m quite athletic and I’ve got plenty of pace and power."

READ MORE: Calm, composed and collected: How Beni Baningime became a key player for Hearts

Those qualities could be witnessed when Lembikisa started for Wolves in two FA Cup clashes against Liverpool last season.

Firstly, the pace. Here he is at Anfield. When the ball is played forward he is around 10 yards inside his half with Scotland captain Andy Robertson ready to close him down.

Hearts Standard:

Six seconds later...

Hearts Standard:

There will be more scope at Hearts to inject that pace into the team and open up his legs to charge into space. Whether as a full-back or wing-back. He played both roles at Rotherham and may well feel more at ease in the more advanced role. 

Lembikisa would get forward at Rotherham but watching him in games there were times he perhaps second-guessed himself. In one of his final appearances, against Blackburn, there was a situation where he had the opportunity to stretch the game with an overlapping run that would have opened space for his teammate, especially with him playing as a wing-back. He remained and the team were crowded out and gave up possession. 

Hearts Standard:

Lembikisa didn't look clever in some games when goals were conceded but without making glaring errors. There were times he just looked like an inexperienced defender who was part of an underperforming team that had a leaky defence. That can erode confidence, especially when it is the first real experience of being a first-team regular.

Where he will likely catch the eye from a defensive standpoint his is willingness to engage opponents. In the following two examples, the first for Rotherham in the FA Cup against Fulham and then for Wolves against Liverpool, he sees the pass being made and spots an opportunity to close down and get tight. In both cases, the opposing player was forced back.

Hearts Standard:

Hearts Standard:

Lembikisa, in the season so far, performed more defensive duels per 90 minutes than Atkinson. No surprise considering the teams they have been on and their place within their league's ecosystem. But crucially he has a higher success rate.

He is an effective player in 1v1 situations due to his aggressiveness in engaging an opponent, while he is athletic, quick and strong which helps him change direction quickly and accelerate in tight areas while using his body well. The below example is him getting out to close Robertson down, showing him to the byline and then blocking the cross.

Hearts Standard:

On the flip side, he doesn't perform as well as Atkinson in possession or as an attacking outlet. Again, the teams they have played in have had different ambitions and strategies in and out of possession.

With a 69 per cent passing accuracy this season, the desire would be for that to increase. He should see more of the ball when he plays and have more options but Scottish football is a different beast when it comes to intensity and pressure.

Hearts have moved quickly to land what was their transfer priority. Lembikisa fills an important role, capable of playing as a right-back and wing-back. He could be viewed as a more defensive option than Atkinson in a back four, while he would no doubt like the added freedom at wing-back.

He will have the next week to integrate before facing three games in the space of a week, making his case for the starting position before Atkinson returns and competes for the role.