Manchester United have completed the signing of former Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton on a free transfer.
Heaton returns to Man Utd, where he began his career without making a senior appearance, after leaving Villa at the end of the 2020-21 season. A move back to Manchester was touted as far back as April and it has now materialised. He has proven himself as a reliable operator in the Premier League between spells with Burnley and Villa.
At the age of 35, he is no longer seen as a number one, but will be pushing for opportunities regardless at Old Trafford.
David De Gea and Dean Henderson are the current main goalkeepers in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad. However, neither are happy to share the responsibilities of being number one, so at least one of them may leave this summer.
Sergio Romero has already departed as a free agent after Solskjaer demoted him down the pecking order. Now, Heaton will help replenish the ranks with experience and decent quality.
His contract will run until 2023, with the option for a further year.
Heaton still feels he has something to offer at the top level and is glad to be back in familiar surroundings after all these years.
He told the club website: “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 proud of journey
Heaton left United in 2010 after a number of loan spells away from Old Trafford. He has since built up a solid reputation and even earned three caps for England during his Burnley days.
While playing elsewhere in the Premier League, he has naturally been aware of how United have been progressing. As such, he is thrilled to now be a part of that.
He added: “I’m excited to be part of where the team’s going. There’s been really good progress over the last few years.
“I feel incredibly excited, I feel great. I feel like I can bring something, so I’m looking forward to getting started.
“I’m proud of my journey and I’m delighted to be back to where I started my career.”