Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Believes Tom Heaton Has Taken ‘The Last Step’ Of His Career In Rejoining Manchester United

Heaton, 35, rejoined the club he left in 2012 after being released by Aston Villa and could be recognised as United’s number two goalkeeper next season, depending on the David de Gea and Dean Henderson situation.

United also extended 30-somethings Juan Mata and Lee Grant’s contracts by another year to maintain the experience in a young squad.

“Tom is a Manchester United player,” Solskjaer told the club website. “He’s been here and felt this is coming home and closing the circle. He’s had a very, very good career so far and been a part of the England set-up.

“For him to come in now, taking his challenge, I think is what he needed, that last step now. He’s such a top professional and such a top guy to have around and that will help the young lads.

“We are a young squad and [extending older players’ contracts] been part of the thinking. We have the professionals that can be an example day in and day out.

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“Our young lads think they know it because we bring the up through the academy and they do learn good habits. But then they come into the first team and see World Cup winners like Juan and the way he conducts himself, even if he doesn’t play. He didn’t play as much as he would have liked to last year but he’s never ever letting himself or his team down with his attitude.

“So they are good examples and Lee, as well, knows he’s got good goalkeepers ahead of him but the example he sets is something we have to reward them for and it makes the group better, and they’re still good players.”

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