Manchester United have secured their second signing of the summer window, with Tom Heaton being signed on a free transfer after his contract at Aston Villa expired. The goalkeeper will be on a two year contract with an option to extend for a further year.
Heaton began his career at Old Trafford, progressing through the youth ranks and going on multiple loan spells to the likes of Cardiff City, Queens Park Rangers and Rochdale before he left the club in 2010 to Cardiff on a free transfer. He returns to the club with 376 appearances to his name, with five years as the number one at Burnley being the highlight of his career.Embed from Getty Images
At 35 years of age, Heaton will be joining the club as an experienced back-up goalkeeper.
A return to his childhood club
Tom Heaton spent thirteen years at United previously but was unable to make a first-team appearance for his childhood club.
With a strong career behind him since then, Heaton will be joining the side as an experienced 35-year-old with over 100 Premier League appearances and three international caps. The veteran goalkeeper is looking forward to returning to Old Trafford and this time will be hoping to play in front of the fans. When speaking to the club website, Heaton said: “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 was at the club while Ole Gunnar Solskjær was a player and he will be aiming to push to be a starter under his former teammate, Sky Sports has reported that the goalkeeper has told friends his plans to push hard to become the first choice between the sticks for United. However, as it stands, it is likely that Heaton is the back-up for either Dean Henderson or David de Gea.
Getting business done – quick
We’ve known about this deal for a while now, and while it is the first official unveiling of a new signing, United announced that they have agreed a deal for Jadon Sancho yesterday.
With two deals all but completed before pre-season begins, it is a good change to the usual late signings such as Bruno Fernandes or Harry Maguire, who were both signed near the end of their represective windows.
It doesn’t seem that the club are done in the transfer market and hopefully they can make some needed additions in good time for the 2021/22 campaign.