Former Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart will leave Burnley at the end of the season, with the Clarets deciding against extending his contract beyond June 30.
Since joining Burnley from Manchester City in 2018, the 33-year-old has only appeared 24 times across all competitions for the Turf Moor outfit, mostly playing second-fiddle to Nick Pope, the current Burnley number one.
Joe Hart’s career has suffered a major downgrade since Pep Guardiola’s arrival at Manchester City back in the 2016-17 season.
However, after enduring a disappointing season with Torino, in which the goalkeeper only managed to keep five clean sheets in 36 league appearances, Hart was sent out on another season-long loan deal, this time with Premier League outfit West Ham United.
The custodian endured another underwhelming campaign and joined Burnley in the summer of 2018.
With Hart now on the brink of becoming a free agent in the upcoming summer transfer window, Premier League side Arsenal, along with several MLS clubs have been credited with showing interest of signing the former Man City goalkeeper.
So, what went wrong for Joe Hart? From being a two-time Premier League winner with Manchester City to becoming a Burnley outcast.
Lack of footwork
Despite winning the prestigious Premier League Golden Glove award four times, Joe Hart is a traditional and orthodox goalkeeper, who didn’t inherit the skills of being good with his feet or playing the sweeper-keeper role.
It is no longer a secret how Pep Guardiola likes to operate his team with the goalkeeper burdened with different duties in addition to keeping the back gates closed.
After a poor outing for England in 2016 Euros, Hart wasn’t rated by Guardiola due to his inability to fit into the Spaniard’s system.
The Englishman made just one appearance under Guardiola, a Champions League qualifying match against Steaua Bucharest, before departing for Torino.
Being less efficient with the ball at his feet, Hart failed to convince Guardiola, and as a result, the two-time Premier League winner had to make way for Claudio Bravo.
The Chilean failed to make his mark at the Etihad too, but that’s a different story!
Leaving the Premier League
Joe Hart surprised many with his decision to join Torino, who were not even in contention for a Champions League spot back then.
In fact, in doing so, Hart became the first-ever English goalkeeper to join a Serie A side since the league’s commencement in 1929.
Hart made a dodgy start to his Serie A career after being partly responsible for the equalizer in a 2-1 away defeat to Atalanta.
Soon followed a series of high profile mistakes, as he conceded a total of 62 goals in 36 league matches over the course of the season.
As a result, Hart was allowed to leave the Italian side after the expiration of his loan deal. The move benefitted neither party.
Hart’s decision to move out of the Premier League at such a crucial point of time in his career didn’t pan out well over time, especially as the likes of Arsenal, Everton, and Liverpool were interested in him back then.
A tale of several unforgivable errors
Joe Hart possesses the unwanted reputation of being an error-prone goalkeeper. Despite having a good fundamental goalkeeping technique, the 33-year-old’s lapses in concentration have cost him and his sides on multiple occasions.
In fact, during his season-long loan spell at West Ham, Hart’s weakness against low shots to his left was well documented.
His momentary lapses in concentration, accompanied by numerous unforgivable errors, such as conceding to shots taken from the half way-line, have made severe dents in his image of a world-class goalkeeper.
Since the start of the 2016-17 season, Hart has leaked in a total of 154 goals in just 85 appearances for Manchester City, Torino, West Ham, and Burnley combined, keeping only 18 clean-sheets in the process.
Only time will tell what’s next for Joe Hart but it’s safe to say that the English goalkeeper has failed to fulfill his true potential.