Lawrence Shankland claimed he always fancied himself to make a big impact at Hearts after he scored his 50th goal for the Edinburgh club just over 18 months after making his debut.

The 28-year-old moved to Tynecastle in the summer of 2022 following an underwhelming year in Belgium with Beerschot, and his winning strike against St Johnstone on Wednesday brought up his half-century for the Jambos in less than two seasons – the quickest any player has achieved the feat since the great Willie Bauld in 1950.

Shankland became the first Hearts player to score 20 goals in a top-flight season since John Robertson in 1991-92 when he hit 28 last term, and he has now become only the second player in the 21st century to score 50 for the club after Jamie Walker reached the landmark across two spells.

Asked if he anticipated his move to Tynecastle working out so well, Shankland said: “Aye, probably because I knew Hearts would be a team who create chances.

“Hearts tend to be at the top end of the table so as a striker coming in I fancied myself to score goals.

“It had been a long time since someone had scored 20 goals for the club so I had achieved that in the back of my head at the start.

“So to do it back-to-back, and to get 50 in my time here so far is great.”

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Shankland revealed he has struck up an off-field rapport with 59-year-old Robertson, Hearts’ all-time record league goalscorer.

“I have spoken to Robbo by text and I had another one from him after the game (on Wednesday),” he said.

“We text back and forward now and again, he messaged me after we beat Hibs (in December).

“It’s nice because he holds all the records and has done for a long time, so it’s up to me to go and put a new name in there.”

Shankland has 22 goals this season in all competitions and is the top scorer in the cinch Premiership with 16, three ahead of Aberdeen’s Bojan Miovski. Asked if he was now aiming to get 30 this term, he said: “Aye, because it’s doable once you get to this stage.

“I’ve always been the type who thinks about getting one more and then one more, because if you do that they all add up.

“So I’ll just keep doing that and see where we are at the end of the season.”

Shankland, who has scored 17 goals in his last 18 games for Hearts, is battling to secure his place in the Scotland squad for this summer’s European Championship.

“The March camp is first so the most important thing is to keep my form up and try and get involved in that,” he said.

“After that it’s a quick turnaround to the Euros and there will be a lot of talk and decisions to be made.

“All I can affect is what I can affect, which is out on the pitch for Hearts, so I just have to keep doing what I’m doing.”