On Monday night, it emerged that Joe Hart was traveling to Italy for a medical at Torino ahead of a loan move. He has been given permission by the FA to leave the England squad and complete his move to Serie A before the transfer deadline. Torino have acted swiftly to agree a deal with Manchester City and look to have benefited from this unusual situation. They wouldn’t have been able to secure a goalkeeper with Hart’s talent under normal circumstances, but he desperately needed a move and they have proven to be the best option that is available to the goalkeeper.
It is a weird situation as there is a lot that is still unknown about the discussions between Pep Guardiola and Joe Hart. The Manchester City manager will have known that he wanted a new goalkeeper as soon as he took the job as he is a meticulous planner and has a philosophy that he adheres to closely.
For Hart only to move in the last few days means that either Guardiola didn’t tell him soon enough that a new goalkeeper would be arriving, or that Hart decided to stay and fight, even though he had been told he wouldn’t be the number one. It is unclear who is at fault for Hart remaining at Manchester City until the final days of the transfer window, but it has now left the England number one scrambling for a club.
This is a huge problem because clubs aren’t usually looking for a goalkeeper this late in the window unless they have suffered an injury. It is a position that needs to be decided on early as clubs want to start the season with an established number one. Clubs such as Everton and Liverpool would have been interested in Hart at the beginning of the summer, but they signed other goalkeepers as it wasn’t known that the England number one would be available.
He was then left with two options that we know about, Sunderland or Torino. Both clubs were interested in signing him, but for different reasons. Vito Mannone suffered an injury and left Sunderland with only the inexperienced Jordan Pickford. On the other hand, Torino saw the opportunity to loan a Champions League calibre goalkeeper for a reasonable price. Moreover the coverage and financial benefits that signing Hart will bring to the club make it worthwhile for the Italian club.
Although they aren’t in European competition this season, there are reasons why moving to Torino is a good idea for Joe Hart. The main one being that he will get regular first team football, which is crucial at his age. He needs to be playing in order to keep his England place, while he will also remain relevant and be able to earn a move to a bigger club next summer.
The 29-year-old will benefit from moving away from the spotlight in England. If he had joined another Premier League club, he would have remained headline news, which will have distracted him from his game. After the last three months he has had, a fresh start in a new country could be a blessing and help him return to his best. English players have been reluctant to move abroad in the past and Hart must be applauded for doing so. Serie A isn’t as good as it once was, but Hart will learn a lot from the league and he will return to England next season as a better player.
If this deal goes through as expected, there will be shock around the world as the side that finished 12th in last season’s Serie A get the services of England’s number one Joe Hart. He should be playing at a higher level, but that has not been possible for one reason or another. This late into the window, Hart moving on loan to Torino suits all parties. Manchester City won’t have him at the club acting as a distraction this season, Torino are getting an excellent goalkeeper and Hart will be playing first team football every week. However, it is only a temporary solution and a more permanent one needs to be found in twelve months time.
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