There are a few sources suggesting Aston Villa will attempt to make a January loan move for veteran Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton. The Premier League standout has fallen down the depth chart behind Joe Hart (and will fall further when Nick Pope returns).
New Aston Villa manager Dean Smith and goalkeeping coach Neil Cutler will have to settle on a decision before the January transfer window. 28-year old Norwegian ‘keeper Ørjan Nyland was brought in on a 3-year deal under former manager Steve Bruce. With Nyland, the on-loan André Moreira of Atlético Madrid, and Mark Bunn, Villa had their trio as Jed Steer (who played the first league game) was allowed to leave for Charlton Athletic.
Nyland’s up-and-down performances have teetered between brilliant emergency stops and poor overall play. Mistakes continue to mount, Sunday’s derby with Birmingham City included.
With that said, there are several sources suggesting that Aston Villa will make a move for Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Heaton, 32, enjoyed 4+ seasons as Sean Dyche’s #1 in both the Premier League and Championship. Before shoulder surgery in September 2017, he was expected to travel with England for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as second/third-choice.
Then Nick Pope happened.
The shot-stopper blossomed and never looked back last season as he remarkably made the plane to Russia. A shoulder injury himself forced Burnley to acquire Joe Hart in the summer, their new starting goalkeeper. That leaves Heaton on the outside with the younger Pope returning and Hart under a two-year deal. He will leave in January, likely on-loan, and it looks like Aston Villa is in the driver’s seat.
Heaton’s acquisition, granted he can recover his pre-surgery form, would be a huge addition to this Aston Villa squad. Heaton, at his best, is one of the better goalkeepers in England and maybe the most unheralded relative to performance.
A loan move would be tricky as only five loan players can dress for a matchday team in the EFL. With Anwar El Ghazi, Yannick Bolasie, Axel Tuanzebe, Tammy Abraham, and the aforementioned Moreira, Aston Villa already have five. Heaton could arrive at Villa in January, but Moreira would not be able to be in the same team as he – not without someone else dropping out.
I think Atlético would recall the player, though, if he fell to 4th-choice. We’re six weeks away from Heaton perhaps trading in the claret and blue of Burnley for…..the claret and blue of Aston Villa.