Tom Heaton – Fantasy Football Potential

Aston Villa completed the signing of England International Goalkeeper Tom Heaton from Burnley for a fee of £ 8 Million. Heaton becomes the clubs 11th signing of the summer and arguably the most important.

In a summer where the supposed fees being paid for English players has been insane, getting a goalkeeper of the calibre of the England International Goalkeeper for just £ 8 Million can be the bargain of the summer for Villa. Heaton had been an integral part of Burnley’s solid defence and had the third highest save percentage for any goalkeeper to have played a minimum 40 games in the last 3 premier league seasons. Only De Gea and Lloris bettered him in this specific statistic.

With a leader like Tom Heaton at the back marshaling the defence in front of him, Dean Smith’s Aston Villa can expect to have a good season. On joining a prestigious club like Aston Villa, Heaton has been quoted as saying :

“Excitement I think, you know it’s been on the cards for a little while,I was not sure if it would go through so I am absolutely delighted to be here.”

Player History

Tom Heaton started his career at Manchester United, signing for them as a trainee in 2002. He became a regular in the youth side in 2002/03 and went on to make his first appearance for the reserve team in October 2003, becoming their first choice keeper in 2004/05.

Due to his impressive appearances in the reserve team, he was loaned out to Swindon Town in 2005/06 where he made 14 appearances. The 2007/08 campaign saw Heaton back with Manchester United covering when van der Sar was out injured.

2008/09 Heaton joined Cardiff City on loan, where he made 21 appearances keeping 6 clean sheets and conceding just 23 goals. 2009/10 saw Heaton join QPR on an emergency 3 month loan deal, but he didn’t make a single appearance and in November he joined Rochdale for 3 months, as he played 12 games, conceding 12 goals and keeping 4 clean sheets. February 2010 saw Heaton go back out on loan again, to Wycombe Wanderers this time, making 16 appearances.

In the summer of 2010, Heaton joined Cardiff on a free after refusing to sign a contract extension at Manchester United due to lack to game time. Over the course of the 2010/11 and 2011/12 season Heaton made 29 appearances.

After rejecting a new contract at Cardiff, Heaton joined Bristol City in July 2012. Ultimately he was only at Bristol for the 2012/13 season, featuring on 43 occasions keeping just 6 clean sheets.

In May 2013, Heaton joined Burnley and over the last 6 seasons, Heaton has made a total of 188 appearances for Burnley. keeping 64 clean sheets and conceding 203 goals.

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Internationally Heaton has been capped 3 times for England, whilst he has also played at various youth levels for the three lions.

Fantasy Football Potential

The former Manchester United stopper has played 96 games in the Premier league with 24 clean sheets to his name. He has made 340 saves in his premier league career so far alongside saving 3 penalties. He has been priced at just £ 4.5m on Fantasy Premier league which is an absolute bargain for a keeper of his stature.

Tom Heaton had 63 saves to his name in the 2018/19 season in which he only played 19 games due to a long term injury which has plagued him since the 2017/18 season. In his last full playing season back in 2016/17, he had 142 saves to his name alongside 10 clean sheets which is a phenomenal record for a goalkeeper playing for a club in the bottom 10. During his injury layoff, Burnley had two brilliant goalkeepers in Joe Hart and Nick Pope keeping the gloves for Burnley but after he came back from his injury, he was able to fight off this competition and became their first choice goalkeeper.

His leadership qualities and crucial saves at the latter part of the season helped Burnley stay clear of relegation. At £4.5m, Heaton has to be one of the first picks for fantasy managers. Aston Villa have a relatively easy start to the season with 3 of their first 5 games being at home with an FDR ranking of 2. Fantasy managers can expect some clean sheets alongside save and bonus points from Heaton which can help them stay ahead in their mini leagues.

Only time will tell but signing Tom Heaton for Aston can be Dean Smith’s best move till date as Villa boss which can be the deciding factor in them staying up or not whereas on the contrary letting him go can be Sean Dyche’s worst as we saw in the first half of last season when Burnley massively struggled without the Ex Manchester United and England Goalkeeper.

Written by Sidm (@sidd_10)

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