Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City are reportedly locked in a three-way tussle to land in-form former Manchester United keeper Tom Heaton
The Sun have reported that as many as three Premier League clubs are interested in the in-form Burnley keeper Tom Heaton. The former Manchester United man has been impressive between the posts for Sean Dyche this season and it seems he is attracting interest from the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City.
Tom Heaton is another one of the United academy graduates who has managed to make his mark in the Premier League after leaving the Red Devils. The player was perennially on loan at other clubs during his time at Old Trafford and despite being named on the bench a few times, failed to make a single senior appearance for them.
Now however, the player has established himself as a guaranteed first-choice at Turf Moor with an impressive record of 55 shutouts in 158 appearances for Burnley in all competitions. This season, the 30-year-old has taken to the rigours of Premier League with aplomb, with continuously impressive displays and countless mesmerising saves.
Such has been the form of the player that he even received his senior cap for the Three Lions, something that may have looked a distant dream for him a few years ago. Despite just 5 shutouts in the league this season, there is a general consensus that Burnley would have conceded a lot more had Heaton not been between the posts.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) January 14, 2017
Heaton has made more saves than any other goalkeeper plying their trade in the Premier League this season, with Ben Foster the closest one, who has nine fewer saves to his name than the 30-year-old.
His form has rightly caught the attention of Liverpool, Everton and Manchester City, all of whom are in real need for a new goalkeeper. Liverpool have seen dicy displays from both Simon Mignolet and summer signing Loris Karius, and while they do seem to be more stable now, Klopp has been looking at additions to the goalkeeping department.
Everton have the ageing Martin Stekelenburg and the shaky Joel Robles as their options, and Ronald Koeman would definitely love to add Tom Heaton within their ranks. Everton have also been linked with a move for Michael Keane and could move for both Englishman in an attempt to firm up their iffy defence.
But perhaps, no club is in more of a need of reinforcements to the goalkeeping options than Manchester City. Pep Guardiola’s decision to buy Claudio Bravo and send fan favourite Joe Hart on loan to Torino has backfired, with the Chilean recording one of the lowest shots-to-saves ratios in the league this season.
One real point of concern will be that Tom Heaton, like Joe Hart, is not a sweeper keeper and neither does he have prior experience of playing as one, which means that he too is unlikely to be a perfect fit in Guardiola’s plans unless the Spaniard decides to modify his footballing philosophy.
Also, Tom Heaton is a boyhood United fan and may be averse to a move to Liverpool, which might just hand Everton the edge in the transfer battle. Another positive for Everton is that the Toffees will be able to guarantee a better chance of regular first-team football than the other two suitors.
An in-form keeper like Tom Heaton is unlikely to leave a club to become a second-choice at another club, which does sway the advantage over to Everton. Whatever be the case, Heaton looks like he has finally started living up to the potential he had and it would be interesting to see where he decides to go, if at all.