‘I understand the mentality’ – Fighting first words as Tom Heaton returns to Manchester United after 11 years

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Unfortunate injury troubles have not watered down the motivation of Tom Heaton at all as the star expressed how ‘excited’ he is as his return to Manchester United after 11 years has been confirmed.

The Red Devils announce that Heaton, who spent 13 years at the club as a youngster, has penned a two-year contract after his free transfer, with the deal including the option of a further year.

United announced the capture of the now 35-year-old, who arrives after leaving Aston Villa following the expiry of his contract, with a lovely video that showed the goalkeeper out on the training pitch.

Heaton’s voice played over the clip and the stopper insisted that he is ‘really proud of his journey’ to date but ‘couldn’t be happier’ as he returns to his boyhood club.

The England international, who will offer competition to Dean Henderson and David de Gea as the club have bolstered their options following the release of Sergio Romero, adds that he understands the ‘mentality’ of the club, in fighting words that fans will love after years of mediocrity.

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Here is a transcription of what Heaton had to say in that reintroduction video:

“I’m really proud of my journey, but I couldn’t be happier to come back here and look to be part of this successful football club.”

“I was brought up in the academy, so I understand the mentality. It’s about being part of something bigger than yourself. It’s about being dedicated and resilient.”

“I’m excited to be part of where the team’s going, there’s been really good progress over the last few years.”

“I feel incredibly excited, I feel great, I feel like I can bring something, so yeah, I’m looking forward to getting started.”

“I’m proud of my journey and I’m delighted to be back where I started my career.”

Heaton played the best football of his career with Burnley in a spell that won him three caps for England, before the 6f2 keeper left for for Aston Villa.

Unfortunately, the move to the West Midlands never really worked out a Heaton suffered a serious knee injury in his debut season with the club, leaving them to move on to another No.1 option since.

Heaton’s last competitive appearance came on New Year’s Day in 2020 so the experienced star may need a little time to get back to full fitness, despite that there’s no signs that he shouldn’t be as reliable as he always has been between the sticks.

It remains to be seen what the signature of Heaton means for someone like De Gea, who has been heavily linked with an exit this summer.

There’s also no official word as to whether the Manchester outfit have re-signed Lee Grant, the veteran English stopper they’ve had for the past couple of years to fill homegrown quotas.

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