Goalkeeper Tom Heaton says he could not turn down the opportunity to join Aston Villa after finalising his move from Burnley on Thursday.
The 33-year-old had been linked with the exit door for several months after entering the final year of his contract at Turf Moor. Heaton spent six years at Burnley and helped the club reach the Premier League, but after over 200 appearances has now decided to try a new challenge.
The England international is expected to take the number one jersey at Villa Park, with the West Midlands club paying around £8million for his services. Heaton becomes Villa’s 11th signing of the summer and the former Manchester United trainee says he cannot wait to get started.
“It has been on the cards for a little while and I wasn’t sure that it was going to go through, so I’m absolutely delighted to be here,” Heaton told Aston Villa’s website.
“Having spoken to the manager, it seems like a fantastic opportunity. It is great that this massive football club is back in the Premier League and I’m delighted to be part of it.”
Manager Dean Smith, who also has Jed Steer, Lovre Kalinic and Orjan Nyland on his books, believes Heaton’s “experience” will be key.
He added: “I am delighted that Tom is joining Aston Villa. He’s done fantastically well for Burnley over the past few years and his experience and knowledge of the Premier League will be a major asset to us this season.”
Villa open the campaign with a difficult trip to Tottenham on August 10, but after Heaton’s arrival they will be confident of avoiding relegation, with the Villans currently priced at 3.00 to go down.