Writer: J P Fear
Date:Monday January 26 2009
Vital Villa member Lee Lindsay sent me in this quote from Wigan boss Steve Bruce aka potato head! 'If we're only going to get £3m or £4m for him then what's the point when
you're trying to get a £30m jackpot next summer? And Emile could be the difference between staying up or going down. He is a talisman at this club and he has got himself back into the England team playing for us...Of course every player has his price. If we got an outrageous offer we'd have to think about it but I'm talking £10m not £3m'
Very funny, thanks Lee!
Meanwhile, Stan Collymore says Villa have got Heskey at an 'absolute steal' for the £3.5million transfer fee.
The striker turned pundit said in The Mirror , 'As an Aston Villa supporter and former player I am delighted they have signed my old Leicester strike-partner Emile Heskey.' Adding, 'The 31-year-old is an international player and is exactly the kind of piece in the jigsaw Villa need.' He also says Emile is 'great in the dressing room' and says that Martin O'Neill will again get the best out of the player.
'I really think Villa have pulled off a coup and a fantastic bit of business getting Heskey ahead of his old club Liverpool. As part of a team, Heskey will give strength, balance and hard work. Emile, who has 50 caps, doesn't have a hugely impressive - goal-scoring record with around one goal in four games. But his old Leicester boss Martin will be thinking he can get that down to one goal in three or less.'
Some of the players have been talking on the Official Site about the new boy who looks set to make his debut v Portsmouth on Tuesday night.
Zat Knight says he is happy to not have to face Heskey again! 'As a defender, when you see Emile's name on the team sheet, you know you'll be in for a game. I'm just glad I can play with him now, rather than against him - except in training, of course. It's a welcome bonus for the side and hopefully his arrival can help us push for that top four and the Champions League place. Emile has a bit of everything - he can hold the ball up well, he can flick it on for Gabby to use his pace and he can obviously score goals. He has a top all-round game.'
Steve Sidwell said the signings shows that Villa is ambitious. 'Emile is a great signing. It's been well-documented that we've been after him and it's fantastic news that we've completed the move. In my opinion, it shows the ambition of the club because he's a big name. I am sure he will be a great addition to the squad. He has great experience and will bring a lot to the team.' Promising, 'With him up top, players like myself can feed off him and also if you get service up to him, he will score you goals.'
Villa boss Martin O'Neill also says Heskey's signing is great value. 'Getting quality in at the right price, which I believe Emile will prove to be, is difficult. The January window, as usual, is awkward but it's the only opportunity you get. If there was a player out there who I thought was terrific value for the football club long-term and was going to play a major role for quite some considerable time, then of course, I would have a look.'
He also warns, 'I don't mind paying over the odds but an extortionate price for someone? No, we are not in that game. Definitely not!
'The chairman wants to run the club as a business and I am in total agreement with that philosophy because you see so many clubs now who are in serious financial difficulty. We have been pretty prudent. But if something comes up which I feel would represent good value, I would try and see if we could do something about it. The fees for players in this January window have surprised people. And I have to assume the wages that go along with that would be more than a tidy sum. But I think Emile will represent great value.'
Date:Monday January 26 2009
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