Burnley opinion: Clarets should offload Joe Hart in the summer
According to the Daily Mail, Burnley are prepared to let shot-stopper Joe Hart leave the club in the summer, with reports claiming that the Clarets are looking to trim their wage bill at the end of the season.
The Daily Mailalso understands that the 32-year-old former English international goalkeeper has attracted interest from a host of top-division clubs in France.
The Clarets struck a £4million deal for Hart last summer to cover for injuries to Nick Pope and Tom Heaton and the 32-year-old established himself as a regular for Sean Dyche’s side in the first half of the campaign.
The Turf moor faithful had every reason to look at Hart as a bargain signing but the former England star has failed to relive his glory days of the past.
Hart has made a total of 19 appearances in the Premier League for Burnley this season but he hasn’t had much to rave about, with regards to his performances, conceding a total of 41 goals in those games, while managing just 4 clean sheets.
The 32-year-old hasn’t played for the Clarets since the 5-1 defeat to Everton on Boxing Day, with Dyche preferring Tom Heaton, following his return from injury.
Heaton has quickly reclaimed his spot as the club’s No.1 between the sticks, following a string of impressive performances. He displaced Hart as the first-choice late in December and has played a key role in Burnley’s resurgence in the Premier League.
As a matter of fact, the Clarets have looked a lot more secure at the back in his presence, conceding a meagre 21 goals in the last 16 games, which is a massive improvement on Hart’s numbers for the current season.
Heaton’s charismatic leadership at the back, his reliable presence between the sticks and his good understanding with the regular centre-back pairing of Ben Mee and James Tarkowski have worked wonders for Burnley in the last three months or so.
The Clarets found themselves languishing in the bottom three in the Premier League when Hart was the No.1 but Heaton has steered the club to safety with his heroics between the sticks.
To put things into perspective, Burnley should not hesitate to offload Joe Hart in the summer, considering that the Clarets already boast of two other top-quality shot-stoppers in Tom Heaton and Nick Pope, both of whom have been capped by England at the senior international level.
Also, Hart is likely to be down the pecking order at Turf Moor in Heaton’s presence and Burnley cannot afford to pay a fringe player such high wages.
Once regarded as one of the best goalkeepers across the continent, Hart is clearly past his prime now and his career has been in a downward spiral ever since the arrival of Pep Guardiola at Man City back in 2016.
The 4-time Premier League Golden Glove winner fell out of favour at the Etihad before losing his England place and he has looked like a shadow of his former self ever since.
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As harsh as it may sound, Hart might still have something to offer at the highest level but Burnley clearly do not need him any longer.