Aston Villa would struggle in a key area if they signed Tom Heaton

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to The Mirror, Aston Villa have submitted a bid for Burnley’s Tom Heaton as they aim to secure a new goalkeeper.

What’s the word?

Aston Villa have been strongly pursuing a stopper this summer, having already seen a bid for Neil Etheridge turned down earlier in the window.

They’ve also reportedly been chasing Jack Butland whilst Alex McCarthy was the subject of interest from the Villans too.

However, their top target now appears to be Heaton after submitting a bid for the Burnley man this week, per The Mirror.

The 6 foot 2 ‘keeper rejected a new contract offer from the Clarets last month whilst Watford have also apparently been in the race to sign him.

Heaton would be a hindrance

When the Midlands outfit were first linked with a move for Southampton’s McCarthy, we documented the fact that his poor pass percentage should put Dean Smith’s men off from pursuing a deal.

However, the same can also be said of Heaton, who compared to McCarthy, also struggles in this regard and for the most part, would be no better than the Saints man.

The latter finished last season with a poor average of just 45%. However, if you compare that to Heaton there is only a measly increase of 1.2%.

Last term Smith installed a passing philosophy in the team, one that’s had Christian Purslow praising as attractive.

In the Championship, they completed 79.8% of their passes as a combined team, a tally that had them as the third-best in the division.

However, their ability to pass it around, like it would with McCarthy, would be affected if they brought in Heaton.

Therefore, the Villans need to ignore their pursuit of the Premier League ‘keeper and instead put their style of play and philosophy at the forefront of any remaining transfers they complete this summer.

They’ve already done that by signing fresh and exciting young players like Wesley and Matt Targett who perfectly fit into the criteria Purslow set for the summer.

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At the age of 33, Heaton isn’t getting any younger and rather than pursuing either of those two top-flight stoppers, placing faith in Steer should be the answer based on his ability to play from the back.

The current Villa keeper averaged a pass success of 51.6% which ties in nicely with the 53.4% of possession the Midlands side kept throughout 2018/19.

With that in mind, they could be better off staying with what they have.

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