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Aston Villa fans react as Tom Heaton nears first-team return

Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images

Aston Villa

Aston Villa fans react as Tom Heaton nears first-team return

Aston Villa supporters have been reacting to comments from Dean Smith that goalkeeper Tom Heaton’s return to the first-team is imminent.

The three-cap England international has not played for Villa since suffering a serious knee injury against Burnley on New Year’s Day, similar to his teammate Wesley Moraes.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

It’s been a gruelling road to recovery, but one that is now close to completion.

 

Smith said of the 34-year-old (Express & Star): “Tom is back working with Neil Cutler now. I am expecting him to be with our group next week and we are looking to get him some practice games.

“When he is back and flying he will give me a great problem and one I enjoy having.”

£42,000-a-week player Heaton (Spotrac) was one of Villa’s standout performers last term following his £8 million transfer (BBC Sport) from Turf Moor.

He offered a solidity between the sticks that just wasn’t there with Pepe Reina and Ørjan Nyland in the second half of the season.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Heaton will now attempt to win back his place in the starting XI from a man who has become an instant crowd favourite at Villa Park – Emi Martinez.

The summer signing from Arsenal has been outstanding up to now, and is partly responsible for Villa being the strongest defensive outfit in the Premier League so far with just two goals conceded after four games.

Villa fans were delighted about Heaton’s return, but many were pretty sure he’ll have trouble picking up where he left off:

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