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The save which denied Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford

After two years at Aston Villa, former Burnley goalkeeper and captain Tom Heaton has returned to Old Trafford and signed a two year deal with his first club Manchester United.

Heaton had a superb spell at Burnley until he picked up that serious shoulder injury in the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace early in the 2017/18 season. Once fit and ready again for Premier League action he found Joe Hart in the way, that was until the final game of 2018 at home against West Ham.

What a welcome he received that day, and what a lift he gave the whole place. We won the game 2-0 with goals from Chris Wood and Dwight McNeil but the biggest roar of the day came for Tom when he made an outstanding save close to the end of the game.

He retained his place for the remainder of the season but with Nick Pope, who had missed the 2018/19 season through injury, fit again, he opted for the move to Villa where he was first choice until New Year’s Day 2020 when he suffered an anterior cruciate injury at the Turf of all places.

That was his last first team action, ending in him receiving a standing ovation from the Burnley crowd and now he’ll be hoping to push his way into the reckoning at United.

He did have a word or two for Burnley during his first interview today. Asked how big a part Burnley and Sean Dyche had played in his career, he said: “Yeah, massive. Again, it was another move that, for me, felt right. My dad was born in Burnley so it had a little bit of family history to it.

“It felt just right at the time and I had six brilliant years under Sean Dyche there. He was brilliant all the way through. I still have a fantastic relationship with him now. It was a really successful period for me. It gave me a real stable sort of time, allowed me to play a lot of games, and I got back into the Premier League which, for me, in that era, which was an aim of mine when I first left the football club here. I look back on it with fond memories because I really enjoyed it.”

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