Why Tom Heaton is one of the most important signings for Aston Villa
Aston Villa have been one of the biggest spenders in the summer transfer market, with Dean Smith’s side preparing to return to Premier League.
This has led to the Villa squad being revamped and a wealth of new faces arriving to help the club in its efforts to be competitive back in English football’s top tier.
With their spending spree this summer, Aston Villa have been compared to previous play-off winners Fulham as there are similarities to what the London club did last summer before being relegated back to the Championship.
Villa’s business does seem a lot organised, although the proof will ultimately come at the end of the season.
Amidst a flurry of new faces to have walked through the doors of Bodymoor Heath this summer, goalkeeper Tom Heaton is the most key capture for Smith’s side.
Villa paid £8million to Burnley to acquire the services of Tom Heaton, 33, who had entered the final year of his contract at Burnley. Smith was determined to bring in a new goalkeeper this summer and would have been mightily pleased after landing the England international at the Villa Park.
Villa had a bit of problem in the goalkeeping department last season. Orjan Nyland suffering a ruptured Achilles in December prompted Villa to take a dip in the January transfer window and they signed Lovre Kalinic from Gent. Kalinic endured a disappointing six months at Villa Park and an injury coupled with poor form saw the Croatian lose his place to Jed Steer.
Steer played a crucial role in getting Villa promoted to the Premier League, via the play-offs. In July, he signed a new four-year contract with the Midlands club. But his lack of experience in the top-flight meant Smith had to address the goalkeeping department. And Tom Heaton is a massive signing for the Villans.
Heaton has been a very successful keeper at Burnley and was played a crucial role in helping them retain their Premier League status last season. He has joined Smith’s side after making exactly 200 appearances in all competitions for the Clarets and three England caps.
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The ex-Manchester shot-stopper is a highly experienced goalkeeper, a fantastic organiser of the backline and a real leader that is such a crucial piece in Villa’s jigsaw.
There’s no doubt that Heaton will be taking to the field for Aston Villa as their number one goalkeeper when they take on Tottenham this Saturday. Dean Smith and the Villa faithful will be hoping the 33-year-old lives up to his reputation and guides the club to safety on their return to the top-flight.