Dean Smith is facing a “big decision” over whether he should sign a new first-team goalkeeper at Aston Villa after Tom Heaton’s injury update, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Villa and Scotland defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admits not having the 34-year-old available for the start of the new campaign is a headache the Villans boss could do without.

Heaton confirmed to VillaTV that he expects to miss the first handful of fixtures of the 2020/21 season due to the injury he picked up at the start of the year.

The Villans brought in Pepe Reina on loan to fill the void in January despite already having Orjan Nyland, Jed Steer and Lovre Kalinic on their books.

Hutton believes a transfer decision will depend on just how long Heaton is ruled out for.

Hutton told Football Insider: “It’s not ideal Heaton missing the start, you would want him in and raring to go but these things happen.

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“He’s going to have to take his time a little and get back to fitness. If we’re talking a month, a month-and-a-half, that’s going to be a good few games he’s going to miss so it’s going to be a big decision for the manager.

“I don’t think he would want to bring in another goalie if he didn’t have to but I think it’s how long Heaton’s going to be out because he’s the number one. If they can get by until that, I don’t see them bringing someone else in.” 

Heaton, who joined Villa from Burnley last summer, played 20 times for the club before he was sidelined with a serious knee injury.

Smith used loan signing Reina for the majority of games in 2020, although Nyland starred in the cup games and played a couple of league matches as well.

In other Aston Villa news, Alan Hutton has given his verdict as a former teammate is set to join a new club from Villa.