May 23 2013 Latest news:
By Stuart Watson
Friday, July 20, 2012
EMILE Heskey has emerged as the transfer target that Ipswich Town are closing in on signing.
After making keeper Scott Loach his third summer signing yesterday, Blues boss Paul Jewell stated that he is now switching his attentions on landing a target man striker.
And with Town chief executive Simon Clegg revealing yesterday morning that one move was ‘moving from tepid to fairly warm’, reports have surfaced that talks with free agent Heskey are at an advanced stage.
The 34-year-old was released by Aston Villa at end of last season and Jewell – who smashed Wigan’s transfer record to sign him for £5.5m in 2006 – is understood to view the powerful forward as the perfect foil to poacher Michael Chopra.
Heskey’s has always been a player who divides opinion among football fans. Despite spending virtually his entire career in the top-flight – scoring over 100 Premier League goals – his finishing has always been questioned.
Capped 62 times for England, his tireless hold-up play and selfless defending from the front has always drawn praise from team mates.
With combined transfer fees of over £15m having been spent on his signature, the front man has had spells at Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan and Aston Villa.
Jewell admits he got it wrong last season by rushing into the acquisition of too many ageing ex-Premier League players. With the likes of Jimmy Bullard, Lee Bowyer, Ivar Ingimarsson and Natahan Ellington failing to set the world alight, the Blues finished a disappointing 15th-place in the Championship.
A switch in policy has ensued, with Jewell showing patience in the transfer market amid growing supporter pressure. Scott Loach, Luke Chambers and Elliott Hewitt all fall into the ‘young and hungry’ bracket Jewell has talked about, but the Blues boss is on record as saying there is still room for the addition of an experienced player.
Only four teams scored more goals than Town in the Championship last season, but only rock-bottom Doncaster conceded more.
And with Jewell having spent much of the campaign bemoaning the fact that his side were not able to defend from the front, he may well now see Heskey as the man to address that problem.
Heskey – who spent most of last season playing as a midfielder, either through the middle or on the left – made 15 starts and 10 substitute appearances for Villa last season, scoring one goal
– What do you think? Would Heskey be a good signing for Ipswich Town, or are you concerned by his age and reputation? Post your comments below, tweet Town reporter @Stuart_Watson and place your vote above.