Agbonlahor: Heaton tipped to quit Aston Villa after Lange reveal
Gabby Agbonlahor has tipped Tom Heaton to quit Aston Villa and join a Championship or Premier League club in the summer.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the Villa’s record Premier League goalscorer claimed Emiliano Martinez is “undroppable” and Heaton will not want to spend the rest of his career as Villa’s number two.
Heaton turned 35 this week and club captain Jack Grealish wished him a happy birthday on Instagram and called him “one of the best guys I’ve ever come across in football”.
Manager Dean Smith revealed last week out-of-contract trio Heaton, Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor will sit down with sporting director Johan Lange over the coming weeks to discuss their future.
Ex-England goalkeeper Heaton has not featured for Smith’s side since suffering a knee injury against his former side Burnley last January.
He has had to settle for a place on the bench this season after Villa signed Martinez from Arsenal in the summer.
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Asked whether he expected Heaton to leave Villa Park when his current contract expires, Agbonlahor told Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley: “I do, to be honest.
“He left Burnley because he wasn’t starting and he’s come to Villa to be number one.
“He got injured and lost his place and that place is not going to be won back. Martinez is undroppable.
“He’s not going to want to spend the rest of his career as the number two at Villa.
“I can see him going somewhere else in the Premier League or Championship to play football.”
Heaton kept four clean sheets in 20 Premier League games last term before his season-ending injury.
Martinez has kept 14 clean sheets in 30 league appearances this campaign.