So there you have it, not quite how you might have seen it panning out, but Latics have signed their first ‘name player’. The fee may seem over the top, and with the negotiations taking all of 5 minutes the wages must be healthy, but there is now a player in the squad who is English, has plenty of experience and was, not so long ago an international regular. Emile Heskey might not get the fans’ pulses racing in the same way he seems to have Jewell’s but he ticks all the boxes and we can but wait to see if the manager can weave his magic here too.

The financial side of this deal might scream ‘mugs’ to fans the length and breadth of the country but the side effects could be beneficial to the club as a whole. To clubs it makes a statement, “tell us what you want instead of playing games and we might just pay it”; where previously players would have dismissed our advances on the basis of an assumption that we wouldn’t match their demands, now they might just think twice.

I’m not going to suggest that I know that Heskey will be a success story for the club but hearing Jewell talk about him gave me a wave of confidence. He’s far from being the final piece of the jigsaw but he’s certainly got it in him to be a big player for us.

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