Earlier in the week, there was an interesting report about goalkeeper Tom Heaton, and it was claimed that Aston Villa were ready to offer him a contract extension, but it’s fair to say the report was met with a fair bit of confusion.
Tom Heaton's contract at #AVFC expires in June.
— Gregg Evans (@greggevans40) April 6, 2021
When the now 34-year-old stopper made the switch from Burnley to us for a reported £8million most of us agreed that he was a cracking bit of business given his experience in the Premier League and, of course, for the England international side.
Vital Villa’s Summer 2021 Transfer Rumour Thread
However, according to The Athletic’s Gregg Evans, when he signed, Heaton only actually agreed a two year deal.
Most of us assumed it was a four year deal (as per other signings in the summer of 2019 but it was never officially confirmed) and thusly, he was contracted up until 2023.
A two year deal certainly sounds strange to me, but it’s logical given he came in as No 1 that it was potentially a two year deal with an obligated third year based on appearance levels, but of course, with his injury limiting his game time to only 20 Premier League appearances, that clause would never kick in.
Despite Emi Martinez making the shirt his own, it makes every sense from our point of view to offer Heaton an extension as you can very easily imagine Emi takes the PL games, whilst Heaton becomes our Cup keeper (and surely next season we have better aspirations of having another day out at Wembley in both Cups), so you presume that would keep them both happy and keep what is a strong goalkeeping unit together and on their toes.
The only real questions are, would Heaton prefer more regular game time and look to move elsewhere or would he accept a 12 month option to repay the fact we’ve seen so little of him given the injury, before then moving on given he easily has a good few years left in his career.
I don’t think there’s a fan that wants to see him move on, but equally, I can’t imagine anyone would begrudge him going now in order to secure more regular game time. Whilst he didn’t play that often for us, nobody can deny the impact he had on us in that first year – both in terms of his performances between the sticks but also the role he played off the pitch, and I don’t doubt he hasn’t continued that off pitch role in some capacity before he returned to the substitutes bench.
He might not have been here long, but if he does go, it’ll be with our thanks given the comments on our forum and some I’ve seen on social media.
Maybe his lack of game time has resulted in some sort of early cancellation clause being met (or an automatic renewal clause not being met?). If he leaves good luck to him, he’s a decent keeper but has had a terrible time with injuries, can’t blame him for that. Would be nice for him to stay on so we have genuine quality as back up.
It’s a pity but the sport moves on, Martinez is elite level. I do think we may have been even more successful had he been involved for the final stretch of games. Should we lose Tom I’d look at taking someone from the Championship who starts already or I’d honestly plan for losing Martinez in two seasons to a Barca/Bayern level club. I’d even take Darlow off Newcastle, he’d be dependable enough as a backup.
Heaton I suspect will go as he’s too good to be a number 2 and playing regularly he could easily get back into England contention. I think out of the 3 Steer is most likely to stay and sit on the bench.
Can’t see him staying to sit on the bench. He’s too good and would be a decent keeper for a lot of the teams in the Prem.
— backrôw83 (@backrow83) April 6, 2021
Had a great start here sadly injuries derailed it.
— ☪hameleon soul (@katexsuzanne) April 6, 2021
I hope he moves on too good to sit on bench
— RJK_Villan 🦁 (@VITA_IOS) April 6, 2021
Hope he stays and helps us with cup competitions and cover for Emi
— HoIteEnder (@HoItender) April 6, 2021
Great keeper though and I do feel bad for him
— Phil 🦁 (@phildaroom) April 6, 2021
If he decides to go, which I think he will. All the best to him, shame how it's worked out for him, moved to get regular football and make a play for the Euros then a freak injury has led to him being replaced
— Stiggy (@stiggaroo) April 6, 2021
Surely he signed a 3 year contract as a minimum which will see him through to summer 2022?? But yeah thought it was 4 years. I can't see we signed him for £8m on a 2 year contract #avfc
— Pat M'Groin (@patmgroinavfc) April 6, 2021
He's far too good to be sat on our bench.
Good luck to him if he wants game time and decides to move on, especially at this stage of his career.
— Scott Duncan (@Scott_AVFC1990) April 6, 2021
He Leaves With Thanks
12 Month Deal Please