Latics £5.5 million bid to sign Emile Heskey has been accepted and the player is expected to hold talks with the club today. I guess we’ll never know if Jewell would have bid regardless, but given recent events you’d have to say that Heskey is seen as a replacement for Jason Roberts. That raises questions in itself. The issue of wages is best left alone, but if Roberts is worth £2.5m then what does Heskey have that justifies paying more than twice that?
Personally I’ve always liked Heskey as a player. He might not be a goal scorer (although his time at Liverpool suggests that if you play to his strengths he could be) but he’s every bit a Jewell type of player. He’s hardworking, prepared to sacrifice himself for the team and has ability. Emile had his best spell playing alongside Michael Owen for both Liverpool and England, in Henri Camara we can offer a similar partner.
He differs from Roberts in a number of ways. He’s good in the air for a start and could you imagine Jason reacting well to being told to play down the left (something that has had a significant impact on Heskey’s goals per game ratio)? Even when playing with his best mate there were times when Roberts’ desire to be top dog got the better of him, and he and Camara never really gelled for that very reason. He we accept that the Senegal striker is our main threat then Heskey should compliment him much more than Roberts.
I guess I sound like I’m trying to convince myself as much as anything, and I suppose I am. We can’t even come close to claiming that it’s our money at risk here, but no one likes to see their club taken for a mug. The club have had a reputation for that in the past, but Jewell hasn’t. This could be the first major risk of his managerial career. Enough to put his job at Latics on the line? Perhaps not, but if it comes off then it will go some way to proving his status as one of the best around (I’ll not mention the ‘new Martin O’Neill’).
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