COMMENT By Will Butcher
Everton would bolster their chances of reaching the Premier League’s top six next season with the signing of Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton.
Heaton, 31, has been in sublime form for Burnley this season, keeping 10 Premier League clean sheets in his 34 top-flight appearances for Sean Dyche’s side.
Heaton is not the only England international interesting Everton. The Mirror claim the Toffees have made a £10million bid for Jordan Pickford, while the Daily Mail claim Joe Hart is also wanted by the Merseyside club.
Here, Football Insider considers three reasons why Heaton would push Ronald Koeman’s side into the top six next season.
Current options between the sticks
Joel Robles is simply not good enough. The former Wigan stopper is known for producing the odd calamitous mistake and if the Toffees are to push themselves towards the top six, getting rid of the Spaniard and signing Heaton would bolster their chances. Robles’ form has even seen him recently been axed from the side in place of veteran and injury-prone stopper Maarten Stekelenburg, but if Heaton was signed, he would instantly become the Toffees’ number one. Known for his consistency and shot-stopping, Heaton is twice the goalkeeper of Robles.
Leading the rankings
Fox Sports claim Heaton is currently at the top of the pile for the number of shots saved in the Premier League this season, stopping 141 on-target shots from reaching the back of the net. Pickford, 23, is second in the rankings, while Robles is way down in 20th place although he has played less games. The rankings prove that Heaton’s shot-stopping ability is one of the best in the Premier League, and his ability to keep the goals out in Merseyside could push the Toffees to the top of the Premier League.
With Phil Jagielka’s future in doubt, the Toffees will be losing one of their biggest leaders in the dressing room and bringing in a current Premier League captain would more than replace that. Heaton has proven to be one of the experienced heads in an over-achieving Burnley side this season, in a side that already boast plenty of years in the Football League and England’s top flight. His ability to inspire a side into battle and pick his teammates up when they are losing is a quality that could prove crucial in difficult games for the Toffees next season.
In other Everton transfer news, the Toffees have suffered a blow in the pursuit of this proven Premier League performer.