Tom Heaton has this morning completed his transfer to Aston Villa, for a fee thought to be £8m, potentially rising to £8.5m. The amount is unimportant – what is important is that Villa have added much-needed Premier League experience to the host of young and talented players who have already arrived this summer.
Head coach Dean Smith expressed his satisfaction at Tom’s arrival: “I am delighted that Tom is joining Aston Villa. He’s done fantastically well for Burnley over the past few years and his experience and knowledge of the Premier League will be a major asset to us this season.”
For his part, Heaton expressed relief that the deal finally made it over the line. “It’s been on the cards for a while. I wasn’t quite sure if it was going to go through. I’ve spoken to the manager and it seems like a fantastic opportunity.
“He’s got a real positive outlook and I was really impressed with everything he had to say. I was on board straight away. I didn’t need any persuading.”
Although 33 years old, that’s no age for a top-class goalkeeper (Brad Friedel joined us when he was 37, and that didn’t turn out too badly for us) and the experience he brings to the squad will be vital in setting the tone for the season.
“It’s been a busy window so far – a lot of signings. But it needed to happen with a lot of players having also left the club. The majority of the signings are young, hungry and athletic. It’s a really exciting time for Aston Villa and I’m delighted to be a part of that. Hopefully, I’ll bring a bit of experience to it.”
Villa fans have also taken to social media to welcome the England international, and his arrival is seen as a positive across the board:
Very good signing from Villa that 9 million is a snip #tomheaton
— Dave Young (@YoungDave86) August 1, 2019
Tom Heaton is 33. So what? Ben Foster is 3 years older. Lukasz Fabianski is 1 year older. Kasper Schmeichel is only 6 months younger, Hugo Lloris is only 8 months younger. He is not old for a Goalkeeper. #avfc
— Sam ???????? (@1_0_1_0_1_0_I) July 31, 2019
— The Goalkeepers' Union (@GKUnion) August 1, 2019
Tom Heaton: Aston Villa sign goalkeeper from Burnley for £8m
Some great signings looking forward to see how they impact on the premier leaguehttps://t.co/AcrVuYQ31M
— Jason Withe (@jasonwithe) August 1, 2019
Heaton’s arrival leaves the club slightly top-heavy with goalkeepers – even with Matija Sarkič having left on a season-long loan, Villa still have 4 senior keepers.
With Jed Steer having recently signed a new deal at the club, it seems likely that one of Lovré Kalinič or Ørjan Nyland will be moved on before Thursday. As Nyland is continuing his rehab following a lengthy injury lay-off, Kalinič seems the most likely casualty of Heaton’s arrival.
So, welcome to the madhouse Tom. We’re Aston Villa, we sign who we want!
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