Aston Villa’s summer-long search for goalkeeping reinforcements is set to come to a conclusion. As reported by Gregg Evans and Ash Preece, the Villa are set to seal a deal for Burnley, and England’s, Tom Heaton. The thirty-three year old keeper will bring experience and established goalkeeping quality to Villa Park.
It would seem that earlier rumours of AVFC having a bid rejected for Heaton would have some substance - the fee was rumoured to be seven million pounds. Expect an increase on that then.
A few injury issues saw Tom Heaton have to constantly fight for a place that was always his - competition from England internationals Nick Pope and Joe Hart caused frustration - but Heaton seemed to always win his place back. Now, he’ll been injected into another goalkeeping battle, with Jed Steer and Ørjan Nyland - but Heaton’s experience and ability should see him start the season as first choice.
If the bid goes through, that is. Minds can always change.
Importantly, this deal will free up funds for a new bid for Säid Benrahma or Kalvin Phillips - cash which would not have been available if Villa had met Stoke City’s demands for Jack Butland. Now, it looks like the club have secured a new first-choice stopper, an England international and a fresh face for Neil Cutler to work with. Jack Butland was always going to cost far too much.
Tom Heaton? He’ll save Villa money without the club skimming off a lovely layer of quality. Nice.