Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Man Utd sign goalkeeper Tom Heaton

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Jul 2021

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England goalkeeper Tom Heaton has joined Manchester United on a two-year contract.

Heaton, who won the last of his three international caps in 2017, was available on a free transfer after his contract expired at Aston Villa.

The 35-year-old began his career at Old Trafford, graduating through the youth ranks and spending 13 years on the club’s books.

He did not make a first-team appearance and embarked upon several loan spells before joining Cardiff City in 2010.

He arrived at Burnley via Bristol City, with his career taking off under Sean Dyche. Heaton played 188 league games for the Clarets and earned all his England caps while at Turf Moor.

A serious shoulder injury saw him lose his place for club and country to Nick Pope, while Heaton’s injury curse struck again midway through his first season at Villa in 2019-20 when he suffered anterior crucial ligament damage.

“For me to have the opportunity to come back after spending 13 great years here as a kid, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m really, really excited to get started.

“I’m just seeing it as a fantastic opportunity as I still feel I’ve got an awful lot to give and I’ve got the bit between my teeth.

“I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running. I feel in great shape and I’m looking forward to coming in to compete with the other goalkeepers.”

Heaton is likely to begin the season as third choice, with David de Gea and Dean Henderson vying for the number one spot under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Sergio Romero’s departure

Of goalkeepers to have played 100 or more Premier League games since the start of the 2013-14 season, Heaton has the seventh-best save percentage at 70.7. De Gea is fifth on the list (71.6 per cent), with Pope (73.9 per cent) top.

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