Premier League veteran Tom Heaton nears a move to Aston Villa. Burnley Football Club look to cash out on the 33-year-old England international amid competition for the No. 1 shirt.
Burnley’s loss will soon be Aston Villa’s gain.
Tom Heaton is nearing a move to Villa Park that would see the 33-year-old trade in the claret and blue of one club, for the claret and blue of another. According to the indubitable John Percy, Villa have agreed to a £8 million fee for the goalkeeper’s services. Should personal terms become agreed and a medical passed, Heaton would arrive as healthy competition for last year’s starters Ørjan Nyland and Jed Steer.
It is expected that Lovre Kalinic will then move abroad before the end of August. Whether that is on loan or part of a permanent transfer remains to be seen.
Heaton was a primary target in January before the club pivoted back to Kalinic as Dean Smith’s first signing as manager. For Burnley, keeping Tom for an additional six months likely meant Premier League survival after a shaky first-half to the season. He really buoyed them into additional points after the turn of the calendar.
I love, love, love this move for Aston Villa. Heaton is a top, top goalkeeper whose only ‘faults’ are a serious shoulder injury that kept him sidelined three-fourths of a year eighteen months ago, and his advanced age, which is wildly overblown by many on social media. Heaton is coming in for a value fee to stabilize the goalkeeper position for a few years. If Villa get two solid seasons, great. If they get five years, incredible. He will not be a decade-long starter between the sticks, but Villa don’t need that at the moment.
A veteran, a good one at that, to come in and compete with Jed Steer is the correct move. Some prefer going for the more expensive Jack Butland. And while he would have been a good signing, Butland’s ceiling as a goalkeeper is about what Heaton is now (or was, pre-injury). For Villa, taking the veteran certainty today is more valuable than the potential upside in a year or three.