Why Aston Villa should sign Tom Heaton in January
As per a report from the Daily Express, EFL Championship side Aston Villa are closing in on signing Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton on loan for the rest of the season once the transfer window reopens in January.
The 32-year-old is currently behind Joe Hart and Nick Pope in the pecking order at Turf Moor and recently hinted that he is willing to consider an exit in the winter transfer window. (h/t The Mirror)
There was interest in the England international’s services from Bristol City as well as Leeds United, but Villa seem to have staved off the competition to land their man, as per the report from Express.
Aston Villa made two goalkeeping additions to the squad in the summer transfer window, having failed to sign the impressive Sam Johnstone on a permanent basis from Manchester United.
Andre Moreira was the first signing of the summer for the Villans, arriving on loan from Atletico Madrid. They also brought in Orjan Nyland from FC Ingolstadt on a permanent basis. Amidst this, the club allowed Jed Steer to leave the club on loan to League One outfit Charlton Athletic.
None of the transfer decisions seem to have worked out well for the Villans though. Nyland was a big reason behind their defensive struggles early on in the 2018/19 campaign. The 28-year-old Norwegian has managed just four clean sheets from 16 appearances in the Championship, conceding 21 goals in the process.
Moreira, on the other hand, has been relegated to a couple of appearances in the Carabao Cup and hasn’t made the matchday squad for a Championship game since the last week of September, with veteran shot-stopper Mark Bunn preferred on the bench over the Portuguese.
While Nyland has shown signs of improvement under new manager Dean Smith in the recent matches, Villa would stand to benefit greatly by adding a seasoned campaigner in the goal to mount a serious promotion bid in the second half of the campaign.
And Heaton would be the perfect solution for the Midlands outfit. Since moving to Burnley in 2013, the former Manchester United academy man has helped the Clarets to promotion to the Premier League on two separate occasions.
A reliable figure between the sticks, the three-time capped England international has made 181 appearances for Burnley during his five years at the club. However, he has only appeared thrice in the ongoing season.
The 32-year-old has over 180 appearances in the Championship and understands what it takes to succeed at this level. Having been an integral part of two promotion-winning teams, he would also bring in the know-how and experience. Meanwhile, his natural leadership skills and the ability to keep his defence tight and organized can be valuable tools for Smith’s team going forward in the campaign.
A dislocated shoulder kept him out of action for a major part of last season while a minor calf injury hindered his comeback towards the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign. However, now that he has fully recovered, he could prove to be a real asset for Aston Villa.