Tom Heaton released by Aston Villa ahead of return to Man Utd in keeper overhaul

Aston Villa have announced the departure of Manchester United-bound Tom Heaton as well as two other first-team stars as their preparations for the new Premier League season get underway.

The veteran goalkeeper is set to return to Old Trafford having spent eight years with the club between 2002 and 2010, a period in which he was loaned out on six separate occasions.

The three-time England international hit the ground running at Villa but was ruled out for the rest of the season in January of 2020 and eventually replaced by Emiliano Martinez.

Martinez has not looked back since he was brought in from Arsenal, leaving Heaton on the lookout for a new challenge after celebrating his 35th birthday last month.

As well as Heaton, Villa have parted ways with Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor,

The club said: "The popular trio, who are each out of contract at Villa Park this summer, move on with the very best wishes of everyone at the club."

Before adding: "Heaton joined in the summer of 2019 following the club’s return to the top flight.

"The experienced goalkeeper immediately impressed as he started the first 20 Premier League matches, only to suffer knee ligament damage on New Year’s Day in 2020 and see his debut season cruelly cut short.

"Heaton made a full recovery and has returned to Villa’s matchday 20 for the second half of this season."

The upcoming deal comes as Sergio Romero and Lee Grant are linked with the exit door at Old Trafford, with Henderson and De Gea battling to secure the first-team slot for next season.

The experienced Spaniard and England international have battled for Solskjaer's favour throughout the current season, with De Gea missing the vital penalty in the Europa League final.

That came after he failed to save any of Villarreal's 11 attempts, which was mentioned by his manager, who admitted that he had considered bringing on Henderson for the spot kicks.

The Norwegian said: “You go through every scenario, of course, and it had crossed my mind in the build-up to the game but we were confident in David and prepared.

"Anything can happen in a penalty shootout. I stuck with the keeper who played all of the game.

“I've got to say the penalty shootout was high quality, but we didn't do enough in the 120 minutes to score more goals and that's the disappointing bit.

“We had pressure, we had moments where we felt if we can just kick on a little bit now we can get a goal. But we just couldn't.”

READ MORE: WAGs banned from England team hotel and visiting stars during Euro 2020

READ MORE: Premier League predictions from September became scarily accurate

Source: Read Full Article