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Tom Heaton makes honest admission about Manchester United future following Luton block



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Credit: IMAGO / Gonzales Photo

Tom Heaton has spoken about his future at Manchester United following the club blocking a potential move to Luton Town.

Heaton, 37, resigned for The Reds in the summer of 2021. He was an academy graduate who left the club originally in 2010.

The veteran shot-stopper started in United’s most recent pre-season friendly against Arsenal in which Erik ten Hag’s side came out as 2-0 winners.

Heaton was one of the standout performers during the encounter. He made an incredible double save to deny Gabriel Martinelli early on and then sent a wonderful long pass to Kobbie Mainoo on the right flank to kickstart the move for Bruno Fernandes’ opener.

In fact, the former England international has always been reliable when called upon, however, that has mostly been in friendly games.

He has only played three competitive games since returning to Old Trafford and this has led to the goalkeeper having an eye elsewhere for potential first-team opportunities in the twilight years of his career.

An opportunity to move to newly promoted Luton Town came in recently for Heaton. However, due to the unknown nature of David de Gea’s future at the time, United blocked the potential transfer.

Now, with Andre Onana in the building following De Gea’s departure and the fact reports are stating United are targeting a second choice ‘keeper, it could be possible that an exit could materialise for Heaton.

“Yes I think is the honest answer,” admitted Heaton when asked if his age makes the desire to play even greater. “The two games I played last season, I really enjoyed it and it adds to the appetite. I’m still hungry to play. 

“There’s still that drive to play. I got the opportunity to play against Arsenal, a strong Arsenal at the MetLife Stadium, you want to take that on. It’s not feeling, that energy in your body that you miss and I do miss it if I’m honest.

“I love it here. I have been part of this football club for a long time, but I also love playing. I can’t lie, you see it today so I will have a sit-down and chat and see where we go.”

Whilst many would argue that Heaton’s departure would not impact Ten Hag’s squad due to his minimal game-time, that point of view does not take into account his responsibilities off the pitch.

Heaton is one of six players within Ten Hag’s leadership group at the club. He is well regarded within the training ground and is one of the most experienced players in the squad.

“I’m a senior player, I’ve been a football player for a long time, I was at this football club before and came back,” he added.

“We have got plenty of leaders in our dressing room and get together if things need addressing or sorting or talking to the manager. Just general things really. 

“With this football club, sometimes things can get blown out of proportion and highlighted but it’s just the day-to-day running of how things go. The expectations. This club sets the highest possible standards and you look to the leadership group to set those standards really. 

“I was part of that last season and I would hope to be going forward as well. The manager put it together really. He organises that.”