Tom Heaton backed for England spot


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Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield is convinced keeper Tom Heaton will establish himself as England’s first choice in the near future.

Manchester City stopper Joe Hart, currently on loan at Torino in Serie A, is the Three Lions’ number one at present, with Southampton’s Fraser Fortser also ahead of Heaton, 31, in the pecking order.

However, Arfield believes Heaton’s performances for the Clarets in the Premier league this season will see him become England manager Gareth Southgate’s first choice sooner rather than later.

“You’re talking about a guy who came in on a free transfer [from Bristol City in 2013] and is now England’s number three and I think it’s a matter of time before he pushes on for the number one spot,” Arfield told the Lancashire Telegraph.

“He’s club captain and he gets the plaudits he deserves. The character and initiative he’s shown to push on speaks on behalf of everyone.”

Heaton will be keen to be a part of England’s World Cup 2018 squad, even if he is unable to move ahead of both Hart and Forster in the pecking order, and the Three Lions are 19.00 to win the tournament outright.

The Clarets take on West Brom at the weekend in the Premier League at Turf Moor after finally ending their wait for an away win at Crystal Palace last time out.

Burnley are 2.20 to take all three points, the Baggies can be backed at 3.30 and a draw is 3.20.

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