We’re happy to announce that one of our all-time favourite Dream Team players is BACK in the forefront of our consciousness.
The genuinely decent Tom Heaton has gloved-up and made his long-awaited return to Burnley’s starting line-up, dethroning the rather lacklustre Joe Hart in the process.
Hart has found himself demoted to the Clarets bench after their 5-1 Boxing Day defeat to Everton and Heaton’s been an instant revelation in his stead, helping Sean Dyche’s men win all of their last three Premier League games.
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We haven’t thought about Heaton for a long time.
The goalie was unfortunate enough to spend a large portion of last season on the sidelines when he was struck down by a nasty shoulder injury.
Of course, the previously unknown Nick Pope turned out to be his more-than adequate replacement – for both club and country – before he too suffered a lengthy injury in the Clarets’ Europa League clash against Aberdeen back in July.
Since then, Hart has been Burnley’s first-choice keeper, but with the return of Heaton and Pope’s rehabilitation nearing an end, it seems he might be off to Championship also-rans Preston this month.
So if you’re one of the 2.6% of Dream Team managers who still have Hart in your line-up, maybe it’s time you transferred him out.
So why is Heaton’s return to Burnley’s starting line-up such a big deal?
Well, he’s a bit of hero around these parts.
During the 2016/17 season, he became a Dream Team fan favourite when he finished the campaign with 85 points and even made it into our Surprise Team of the Season.
He kept 10 clean sheets that year and pulled off a number of fine saves to help keep the Clarets finish well above the relegation zone.
Perhaps his biggest moment came in their match against Man United in October 2016, when he saved all 11 of United’s shots on target to frustrate the Red Devils.
Heaton is currently priced at just £1.7m on Dream Team, which is cheaper than his injured teammate Pope (£2.6m). If you need a little more context, then Heurelho Gomes, Willy Caballero and Simon Migonlet are all more expensive at £1.8m.
Barring another injury setback, Heaton looks nailed-on to be Burnley’s first-choice goalie for the foreseeable future.
The Clarets face Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday, with two tricky away days at Man City (in the FA Cup) and Man United following that before the relatively calmer clashes against Southampton and Brighton.
Of course, swapping your Dream Team goalkeeper is never going to be the sure-fire way of securing a massive points haul, but transferring-in Heaton might be a good way to squeeze your team’s transfer budget, and he might have a flourishing second-half of the season.
The heat is well and truly on.
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