Tom Heaton Still Has Ambition Of Making England’s World Cup

BBurnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has not given up on the prospect of representing England at the World despite being out of action for an extended period. The former Manchester United graduate sustained a shoulder injury against Crystal Palace in September, but he has since made a good recovery that he could return to the first XI following the international break.

Speaking at the launch of his new Precision Infinite Heat glove range, Heaton cited his desire to return to first-team action such that he can push for a World Cup spot, he said: “I am back into full training on the grass as of last week and I have played a couple of reserve team games. In the next week or so I am expecting to be back to 100 per cent and hopefully get back in the team. Being back fit is the first marker and then trying to get back into the team is the next step. Beyond that I still have ambitions of making the plane for the World Cup and there is a fair bit of water to go under the bridge yet. I am working every day with that ambition in mind.”

Despite Heaton’s comments, he may not receive an easy return to the Burnley lineup with Nick Pope having done an excellent job during his absence. The 25-year-old was a relative unknown prior to the Eagles game in September, but his performances have since been splendid to that extent that Gareth Southgate has rewarded him with a maiden call-up to the Three Lions.

More so, Dyche has also admitted that there is a definite competition for the shot-stopper’s position, and it will be interesting to see whether Heaton is handed the gloves in two weeks’ time, considering it could hamper Pope’s chances of living his World Cup dream. Aside from Pope, Heaton has the additional competition from the likes of Joe Hart, Jack Butland, and Jordan Pickford to make the flight to Russia.