FORMER Hearts loan-striker Genero Zeefuik has joined Turkish side Balikesirspor on a two-year deal.

The burly Dutchman spent the second-half of last season at Tynecastle on loan from Groningen in his homeland and was a huge success as Hearts stormed their way to the Championship title.

The 25-year-old netted a double on his debut and scored the ninth fastest hat-trick ever in senior football when he bagged a treble in less than four minutes in the remarkable 10-0 thrashing of Cowdenbeath in February.

After scoring 12 goals in just 15 appearances, Zeefuik declared himself hopeful of securing a permanent contract at Hearts but the former PSV Eindhoven marksman proved to be out of the Gorgie club's budget.

Suggestions earlier this week that Groningen's decision to allow Zeefuik to leave had opened the door for a return to Hearts – who, in the meantime, had recruited Spanish striker Juanma – proved well wide of the mark when the player yesterday completed his move to the second-tier in Turkey to join newly-relegated Balikesirspor.

Hans Nijland, Groningen's managing director, confirmed on Twitter: "Genero Zeefuik [has] made the move to Balikesirspor in Turkey. He signs for two years. We wish him every success with his new club."