Ian Holloway 'gobsmacked' as Aston Villa sign Burnley's Tom Heaton

Ian Holloway QPR Manager before the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Nottingham Forest at Loftus Road on April 29, 2017 in London, England.

Burnley have sold star goalkeeper Tom Heaton to Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

Tom Heaton of Burnley celebrates during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Turf Moor on March 30, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom.

Ian Holloway cannot believe that Burnley have allowed goalkeeper Tom Heaton to join Aston Villa, telling talkSPORT that the decision has left him ‘gobsmacked’.

The former Blackpool and QPR boss certainly has a point. Burnley appeared to be sleepwalking towards relegation before Heaton returned to the starting XI around the turn of the year.

With the England international back between the sticks, the Clarets immediately turned their season around as Heaton inspired an eight-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

 

But, in a deal that has raised eyebrows all over England, Sean Dyche has allowed his long-serving talisman to join top-flight rivals Aston Villa in a deal understood to be worth £8 million, according to the BBC.

“I’m shocked. I’m gobsmacked. That’s a fantastic signing,” Holloway told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast (1 August, 9am).

“I thought Tom coming back (from injury) changed their season.”

Even at 33, Heaton could be the smartest piece of business Villa do all summer.

Villa have suffered from a lack of reliable shot-stoppers in recent years with both Orjan Nyland and Lovre Kalinic failing to impress in the Championship, two established internationals looking error-prone and nervous in the second tier.

Heaton, however, is about as reliable a goalkeeper as you could wish to find. He should walk into Aston Villa’s starting XI while hardly breaking sweat.

New signing Tom Heaton of Aston Villa poses for a picture at the Aston Villa Bodymoor Heath training ground on August 01, 2019 in Birmingham, England.

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