It's been a frustrating season for Tom Heaton. The goalkeeper has endured an injury-hit campaign which has seen him superseded by Nick Pope at Turf Moor and it has also resulted in him losing his spot in the England side. He's been understandably frustrated by his lack of minutes for Sean Dyche's side since returning from injury in February and he could be tempted to look elsewhere this summer.
The 32-year old has been forced to settle for a place on the bench during the latter half of the campaign and with his replacement improving week-on-week, it seems unlikely that he'll dislodge the Soham-born stopper anytime soon. Pope has been rewarded for his seamless displays with a call-up to the England squad ahead of Heaton. Despite being born in Cambridgeshire, the 26-year old moved to Suffolk in order to further his development, honing his craft at Bury Town before moving to Charlton Athletic. The South-East is one of the key regions for developing young English footballers according to a study by Betting.net, with the likes of Adam Lallana, Ryan Bertrand and Luke Shaw also emerging from this area of the UK.
Heaton has been linked with a move to West Ham this summer and there will be plenty more clubs vying for his signature throughout the transfer window. He remains highly-rated in the North-West and the possibility of uprooting his family may be the only factor preventing him from moving to the London Stadium. However, West Ham are in desperate need of a reliable goalkeeper and are likely to guarantee Heaton first-team football. This appears to be an arrangement which would suit both parties.
Burnley had a tremendous season in the Premier League, securing seventh position. The Clarets will be competing in the Europa League qualifiers which begin at the end of July. Sean Dyche may wish to rotate his goalkeepers for this tournament, although it may not be enough of an incentive for Heaton to remain in East Lancashire - he could look for alternative employment this summer as he bids to get his career back on track.