Paul Robinson has claimed it is a “massive blow” to Aston Villa that Tom Heaton will miss the final ten games of the season.
The former England number one, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested that the 34-year-old could have saved Dean Smith’s side between 6 and 10 points if he was fit for the whole season.
Heaton revealed to Sky Sports last week that he will not be fit for the remaining 10 games of the campaign which recommence on 17 June.
Villa’s number one was ruled out for the season in the New Year after he suffered knee ligament damage in a 2-1 win at his previous club Burnley.
However, there had been hopes that the England international would return within the next two month given the Premier League has been postponed since mid-March.
When asked by Football Insider how the news would impact the Claret and Blue’s survival hopes, Robinson said: “It is a massive blow.
“I worked with Tom closely at Burnley and I know the type of character and person he is in and around the dressing room as well as on the pitch.
“You will not find a more hard working, consciousness goalkeeper. He is obsessive about working hard.
“He was a great, astute signing when Dean Smith signed him.
“He knows the league very well and you want a goalkeeper that can save you six to 10 points a season and he could have saved Aston Villa this year if he was playing.
“He was outstanding up til when he got injured.
“They will miss Tom between now and the end of the season because he is such a top class goalkeeper.”
Heaton made 20 appearances this season prior to injury.
Villa are currently 19th and two points off safety with a game in hand.