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Heaton returns to Man Utd on two-year contract after leaving Aston Villa

The experienced goalkeeper, who spent 13 years with the Red Devils in his younger days, finds himself back in familiar surroundings

Tom Heaton has returned to Manchester United on a two-year contract, with the 35-year-old goalkeeper heading back to Old Trafford as a free agent some 11 years on from bringing an initial spell with the Red Devils to a close.

The former England international, who has three caps for his country, made no competitive appearances for United after stepping out of their youth ranks.

He did gain experience from a number of loans – spending time with the likes of Swindon, QPR and Rochdale – but left on a permanent basis for Cardiff in 2010.

What has been said?

Heaton, who has spent the last two years with Aston Villa, told United’s official website of returning to his roots: “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.”

Will Heaton get game time?

Heaton has not made a competitive appearance of any kind since suffering knee ligament damage when turning out for Villa on January 1, 2020.

A long road to recovery has been taken in, with the plan being to see more minutes with United, however, he does face fierce competition for places in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad.

Dean Henderson and David de Gea are competing for the Red Devils’ number one spot, meaning that Heaton may have to make do with a support role.

He has become the first man to complete a switch to United this summer, but is the second deal to have been put in place after it was revealed that a £73 million ($100m) agreement has been reached with Borussia Dortmund for England winger Jadon Sancho.

Further reading

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