Aston Villa boss Dean Smith will already have one eye on January as he looks to build a side that can take the club back to the Premier League.
Even though he has only been in charge for four games, Smith will have recognised where things need to change.
With Villa down in 14th and five points from the play-offs ahead of a very tricky run of fixtures, the reality is the side will need an extremely strong second half of the campaign to challenge for promotion.
Therefore, proven quality is needed in January and Smith should be lining up a move for Burnley’s out-of-favour keeper Tom Heaton.
The 32-year-old, who has won three caps for England, is behind Joe Hart at Turf Moor and with Nick Pope to return from injury, he is unlikely to make the matchday squad in the future.
At his age, Heaton will be desperate to play every week and the chance to join a club as big as Villa will surely appeal, even if he is dropping a level.
Current number one Orjan Nyland has looked far from convincing this season and is extremely vulnerable to high balls and crosses into the box.
We’ve seen on many occasions that foreign keepers need time to adapt to a new league and country, so it’s perhaps to be expected with the Norwegian international. However, Villa can’t afford to be waiting around.
They have plenty of quality in the final third and Smith’s attacking style of play will benefit those players even more in the coming months.
However, the defence has been the issue this season and having an unconvincing keeper is obviously not helping.
By moving swiftly to land Heaton, Villa will have the reliable stopper that all promoted sides need and he could be the catalyst for a memorable campaign.
Thoughts, Villa fans? Let us know in the comments below.
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