'I think Tom will be in the first team next year ... because he is a great goalkeeper' England under-21 captain David Fox has tipped fellow Manchester United teammate Thomas Heaton to step up to the first team at Old Trafford next season, calling him a 'great player'. And fans had a chance to watch Heaton in action yesterday as the 19-year-old pulled off a series of outstanding saves as United got their campaign off to a flying start in the main competition of the HKFC Philips Lighting International Sevens at Sports Road. Fox, who like Heaton is hoping to make the grade in United's first team, feels the teenager will get between the sticks at Old Trafford sooner rather than later. As United manager Sir Alex Ferguson makes signing a goalkeeper a priority this summer after the release of Roy Carroll and Ricardo, Heaton could provide cover for the more experienced Tim Howard. 'I think Tom [Heaton] will be in the first team next year. I think he will be in the starting line-up because he is a great goalkeeper. With Roy [Carroll] leaving, it's all set up for him. He made a couple of great saves today,' said Fox. Heaton has represented England at under-18 and under-19 level and would dearly love to make the move to the senior ranks. 'To be honest, that would be great if I could get a first-team place next season. But I am being completely realistic and perhaps it might happen a few seasons after that. I may go out on loan next year in order to get some experience,' said Heaton. 'But you never know, I might get a run in the first team next season. Obviously, that's where my ambitions lie. If it doesn't happen I will keep working hard and keep getting experience in tournaments like this [in Hong Kong] and be ready when the opportunity comes. 'The management will decide where I will go if I do go out on loan. I have to wait and see. Last season I played for the [United] reserves. We have two reserve teams, who are very successful in both league and cups. It was a great year for us. A lot of the lads have gained a lot of experience.' Heaton said his main focus now was to help his team win the main cup competition in Hong Kong. 'We're definitely looking to win it this year. I was slightly disappointed with my own performance last year, especially in the final [against Aston Villa, who won 2-0] as I could have saved the first goal, which would have made the game totally different. We're back here this year hoping to turn things around,' he said. United remained unbeaten after three games yesterday. They won two games and drew one, while Glasgow Rangers provided one of the shocks of the tournament when they defeated champions Aston Villa 1-0 in the remaining match of the day.