Man Utd re-sign Tom Heaton on free transfer as keeper, 35, returns to club 11 years after leaving

Man Utd re-sign Tom Heaton on free transfer as keeper, 35, returns to club 11 years after leaving

July 2, 2021

MANCHESTER UNITED have confirmed goalkeeper Tom Heaton has rejoined the club.

The 35-year-old has joined on a free transfer after his contract at Aston Villa expired last month.

The England international stopper has agreed a contract until June 2023 at Old Trafford with an option for a further year.

Heaton came through the ranks at United and was part of the squad between 2002 to 2010 but failed to make a first-team appearance.

Heaton said: "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 spent six years at Burnley and won three caps for the Three Lions before making the switch to Villa two years ago.

He suffered a serious knee injury last year and Emi Martinez has been the first choice since his move from Arsenal.

Heaton will now provide back-up at Old Trafford next season for Dean Henderson and David de Gea.

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It marks a remarkable United comeback for the ace after he graduated through their academy before departing in 2010 for Cardiff City – a decision that left Sir Alex Ferguson fuming with him.

Speaking to Star Sport in 2019, Heaton revealed the legendary former manager’s reaction.

He said: “It was, how do you say, an interesting moment. I ­understood his point of view. I’d been there since I was a kid. He was offering me a new contract and I was turning it down.

“He wasn’t best pleased! So, I was on the end of it a bit. I totally understood it because they had invested a lot of time in me.

“But I knew what was right for me. It was a risk, but it was one I wanted to take.

“I walked out of his office with my tail between my legs. It needed to be done. It was the right decision. I knew that and I never wavered from it."

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