Aston Villa Suffer Double Injury Blow

Aston Villa’s English goalkeeper Tom Heaton looks through the rain during the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Leicester at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on December 8, 2019. Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

Aston Villa goalkeeper Tom Heaton and forward Wesley have been ruled out for the rest of the season, the Premier League club announced on Friday.

Record signing Wesley and Heaton were injured during the New Year’s Day 2-1 win at Burnley.

It has since been confirmed that both players have suffered knee ligament damage and Heaton appears certain to miss England’s Euro 2020 campaign.

Heaton, 33, and Wesley were both in their first seasons as Aston Villa players following their summer arrivals from Burnley and Club Brugge.

Wesley 23, has scored six goals in 22 appearances in all competitions and earned himself a call-up to the Brazil squad.

Villa boss Dean Smith will hold transfer talks with chief executive Christian Purslow after losing the players.

“We’ve got business planned, that’ll continue, I’m sitting down tonight with Christian and (sporting director) Suso to see what this changes for us. It’ll hasten what we do in the market,” said Smith, ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third-round trip to Fulham.

“The recruitment side won’t change from what we were looking at before.”

Villa are currently 17th in the Premier League, just one point clear of the relegation zone.

AFP

Aston Villa Sign Goalkeeper Tom Heaton For £8m

Burnley goalkeeper Thomas Heaton during the English championship Premier League football match between Everton and Burnley on May 3, 2019 at Goodison Park in Liverpool, England. Credit: CRAIG GALLOWAY.

 

Aston Villa on Thursday announced the arrival of goalkeeper Tom Heaton from Burnley — their 11th signing of a busy summer transfer window after winning promotion to the Premier League.

The 33-year-old moves to Villa Park for an undisclosed fee, reported to be £8 million ($9.7 million).

“I am delighted that Tom is joining Aston Villa,” boss Dean Smith told the club website.

“He’s done fantastically well for Burnley over the past few years and his experience and knowledge of the Premier League will be a major asset to us this season.”

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Heaton, who started his career at Manchester United, made 200 appearances for the Clarets after moving to Turf Moor from Bristol City in 2013.

The goalkeeper said there was “momentum” at Aston Villa after their promotion from the Championship in May.

“It’s been a busy window so far — a lot of signings,” he said. “But it needed to happen with a lot of players having also left the club.

“The majority of the signings are young, hungry and athletic. It’s a really exciting time for Aston Villa and I’m delighted to be a part of that.”

AFP

We Knew Fabregas Was An Important Player – Mourinho

MourinhoJose Mourinho has praised the impact made by Cesc Fabregas early on in the Spanish midfielder’s Chelsea career.

The former Barcelona man only joined up with his new team-mates in July, as the team headed for their European training camp, but already his quality seems apparent.

Two goals during pre-season, a stunning free-kick against Vitesse Arnhem, followed by a wonderful individual effort against Ferencvaros, preceded a man-of-the-match performance during Monday’s 3-1 win at Burnley, which was capped by the disguised pass to tee up Andre Schurrle for Chelsea’s second goal on the night.

“We knew Fabregas was an important player from the moment we tried to buy him,” said Mourinho.

“Our team already had a structure and a way of playing on the pitch, but we knew we clearly needed that kind of midfield player and a striker who could play with his back to the goal, hold the ball and associate with the different attacking players. That would make us a different team, not just in terms of results but especially in relation to the style of play.

“Cesc has been important for us, everybody knows how good he is, he was already good as a kid, he disappeared from us for three years but he’s back at a fantastic age so I think we enjoy him and he enjoys playing in the Premier League.”

Mourinho also addressed the mood of another new signing, Diego Costa, after the striker was booked for simulation at Turf Moor when replays showed he had been brought down by goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, during the first half.

“Diego is upset because he’s been behaving extremely well,” explained the Portuguese. “He thought it was going to be a penalty and a red card for the keeper, then suddenly it’s a free-kick and a yellow card for him, so he was disappointed.

“But, I know Michael Oliver and the linesman know it was an unfair decision, so let’s move on.”

Meanwhile, the manager hasn’t given Petr Cech a personal explanation for his decision to start Thibaut Courtois in goal ahead the more experienced Cech, but insisted the overall needs of the team have to take priority.

“If I speak with him then I have to speak with everybody, I never did this in my career,” he said. “I don’t feel I have to speak with them [the players] about my decisions. The club is not under my control but the team is, and everything I do is for the best of the team.

“What I always tell them is that they know where my office is, they know where I am and if they need an explanation I never close the door. Petr didn’t come to see me, he’s worked fantastically well as always. He’s with his mates, he’s been polite, professional and that’s what we need.

“Obviously I have no problem playing him in any match, it doesn’t matter when or in which competition, I’m so confident in him. If I decide to rotate when we have an accumulation of matches it’s probably the easiest position to do it. As I said, we have two of the three best goalkeepers in the world.

“Sometimes people say a player is experienced or not experienced because of his age, but you can be 22 and still have a lot of experience,” explained the Blues boss.

“Courtois has played in the biggest matches you can play in; the World Cup, Champions League final and semi-final, UEFA Cup final and semi-final, big matches against Barcelona and Real Madrid, local derbies, Super Cup.

“Obviously he knows he has to perform but I think he can cope with that because he’s very experienced,” Mourinho told chelseafc.com.