Noel Whelan claims that Aston Villa’s capture of Tom Heaton is exactly the sort of player they need for their impending return to the Premier League.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds hitman was left raving over the Villans’ signature of the former Burnley shot-stopper, the England international one of 12 permanent arrivals at the newly-promoted side.

The 33-year-old finished last season as Burnley’s first-choice keeper and joins Lovre Kalinic, Jed Steer and Orjan Nyland as the goalkeeping options at Dean Smith’s disposal.

Whelan insists that Villa have got their hands on a quality keeper for next season, heralding the impact his experience of the top flight will bring at Villa Park.

“Fantastic signing, just what they needed,” Whelan told Football Insisder.

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“They’ve got strength in depth all over the field but that’s one area there, they’ve gone out and bought a really, really good, experienced goalkeeper. Somebody who can organise the back, who can command the box, can distribute very, very well.

“After all the good signings that they’ve had so far, that’s the one they needed to get. At both ends, you need that experience. You couldn’t have got any better there than Tom Heaton.” 

Heaton, who has 96 Premier League appearances under his belt, played just 22 times across all competitions last season, finding himself benched after returning from injury during the first half of the campaign.

He returned to the starting XI at the end of 2018 and retained his place, as well as the captain’s armband, until the end of the season.

In other Aston Villa news, it can be REVEALED that the club have tabled another bid for a player in their sights all summer.