Wednesday 26 July 2017

I've always rated Joe Hart highly - David Seaman

Former England keeper David Seaman believes Joe Hart, pictured, is still the best in the country
Former England keeper David Seaman believes Joe Hart, pictured, is still the best in the country

David Seaman believes Joe Hart is still England's best goalkeeper and the former Arsenal stopper insists any potential replacements are "nowhere near as good".

Following a poor showing at Euro 2016, Hart became surplus to Manchester City's requirements as new manager Pep Guardiola insisted he required a keeper who could play a sweeper role.

Hart's place as City number one was filled by Claudio Bravo, who joined the club from Barcelona, but the Chilean has endured a torrid first season in the Premier League and has consequently been dropped for Willy Caballero.

Hart decided to join Serie A side Torino on a season-long loan at the end of the summer transfer window and the 29-year-old has since gone on to make a total of 27 appearances for the club.

Seaman, speaking at London's Football Awards earlier in March, admitted the City goalkeeping saga had made him "chuckle" but still feels Hart, who has won 68 caps for his country, has a future with the England national team and at the Etihad Stadium.

"I must admit I'm having a little chuckle because when you see what Joe (Hart) is capable of, then you see what's going on there at the moment, it's a shame," Seaman said.

"The decision was made and that's it. I'm glad that Joe is playing at a high quality and then when he comes back with England he still performs like we know he can do."

Hart, by his own admission, has not been at his shot-shopping best during his time in Italy and was at fault for both goals during Torino's 2-2 draw against Inter Milan at the weekend.

But he was included in Gareth Southgate's England squad for the forthcoming games against Germany and Lithuania, and Seaman is confident Hart will retain the goalkeeper's jersey.

"I know Joe's a good goalkeeper," Seaman added.

"I've always rated him highly, not only because of what he does on the pitch but because of how he reacts from mistakes or setbacks, and he's had a few.

"He didn't have the best Euros but he's reacted properly from it. He's still performing and you look at the guys who are replacing him and you're thinking 'they are nowhere near as good'.

"He's winning anyway because he's playing at a high level of football and he's still performing at great levels and then coming back and playing for England and showing what he can do.

"So for me, his levels haven't dropped."

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