Heaton joins the Hoops
Posted by nickogs20 on August 15, 2009
Goalkeeper Tom Heaton is the latest United youngster to leave the club on loan this summer, having put pen to paper on a three-month loan deal with Queens Park Rangers of the Championship.
Heaton, 23, was expected by many to leave Old Trafford this summer in search of first-team football, but the England U21 stopper has been first-choice for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reserve side throughout pre-season. With the close of the transfer window rapidly approaching and no desirable move lined up, Heaton has seemingly (and perhaps understandably) chosen another loan spell over the prospect of reserve league football for the next few months.
That said, the move to QPR does, on the face of it at least, appear to be a slightly strange one. Czech keeper Radek Černý is highly thought of at Loftus Road and appears to be the undisputed number one for Jim Magilton’s side, and while the Northern Irish manager has stated that Heaton has been brought in to provide competition, it seems more likely that the Chester-born custodian will, barring unforeseen circumstances, ostensibly be there as cover. He will however link up with an old colleague and familiar face in the form of former United youth goalkeeper coach David Rouse, who now coaches the senior keepers at QPR – it could be that this played a part in both sides agreeing to the move.
This will be Heaton’s fourth spell out on loan, with spells at Swindon Town, Royal Antwerp and – last season – Cardiff City already on his CV. Last season was ultimately a bit of a false dawn for Tom, who initially won the starting role in goal at Ninian Park and made 21 league appearances, only to lose his place to Peter Enckelman due to injury and never really get it back.
As an ’emergency’ loan signing for three months (or 93 days), Heaton was able to take his place on the bench for yesterday’s draw against Plymouth Argyle despite the late confirmation of the loan switch. It may be that the two clubs now reach agreement on a longer loan deal in the coming days, as happened with Lee Martin at Nottingham Forest last season. Whatever happens, Tom will don the number 22 shirt during his time at Loftus Road, and we wish him all the best.