Latest reports from the Sun as cited by the Birmingham Mail suggest that Tom Heaton’s departure in the January window from Turf Moor hinges on Nick Pope’s availability. Pope had earlier commented (The Sun) that he is looking to make a comeback in December and if we go by those estimates, the goalkeeper should be somewhere close to getting back on the football pitch.
Heaton has drawn attention from Leeds United and Aston Villa, and both Championship sides would be keen to sign a goalkeeper of international pedigree. United are in desperate need of one after they lost Jamal Blackman due to a foot injury and the Chelsea loanee had to return to Stamford Bridge.
The 33-year-old English goalkeeper has faced some tough times of late as he has fallen down the pecking order after being the club captain for Burnley. His dreaded injury last season sidelined him for months, and Nick Pope put in some strong performances which even got him a place in the England squad for the World Cup in Russia. On the other hand, Heaton had to be satisfied by just being on standby.
Heaton opened about the situation he currently finds himself in as he is deputising for Joe Hart who was signed in the summer. He said (Via The Mirror),”It doesn’t need a rocket scientist to see that it’s going to be difficult to fit us all in, Come to the January transfer window, I’ve got to keep my options open. The one thing I’ve been consistent about in my career is moving clubs in order to play games.”
From his words, it is clear that he wouldn’t have any qualms in leaving Turf Moor to look for game time and we believe a move to Leeds United should excite him. The Whites are in desperate need of a goalkeeper, and Leeds’ managing director Angus Kinnear confirmed (The Chronicle) that they would look to sign a goalkeeper early in the January transfer window and we believe Heaton should be the priority for the club.
The West Yorkshire outfit have struggled with their goalkeeping options for quite some time now. Even last year they conceded some sloppy goals due to the shoddy work by Felix Wiedwald who was later sold on in the summer. Bailey Peacock Farrell has done well in patches but he still needs some time to improve.
Heaton is only likely to come on a short-term loan, but even then he can have a significant impact for the Whites at the back. With United fighting for a direct promotion spot, goalkeeper is one area they should look to consolidate. The Whites should probably pray that Nick Pope currently gets back to playing football as soon as possible which would increase United’s chances in landing Heaton.