Emile Heskey signs for Aston Villa in £3.5m deal

23 January 2009 07:46
Heskey has been reunited with his former Leicester boss Martin O'Neill after signing a three-and-a-half-year contract. [LNB]The 31-year-old put pen to paper after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms with the midlands club. [LNB]He becomes O'Neill's first signing in the January transfer window and is set to make his debut in Tuesday's Barclays Premier League clash at Portsmouth. [LNB]O'Neill said: "I am absolutely delighted. Emile has been a brilliant player for a number of years and this is great news. It gives us all a big boost - the football club, myself and the players. [LNB]"He has arrived at a really important time. We have got a bit of momentum going. We haven't the largest squad in the world. [LNB]"John Carew is coming back from his back injury but is still a week or two away from being ready to return and Emile couldn't be arriving at a more opportune moment. [LNB]"I think he could play with Gabby (Agbonlahor) and John (Carew) and I think he will give us an enormous lift. I have got no doubts that he will improve us and will help to improve Gabby and other players around him. [LNB]"When people like Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen say Emile is good to play with, that is good enough. [LNB]"I am delighted he has come now because he would have had a lot of interest in the summer when his contract was ended. [LNB]"I think he should be not only happy in the environment here, I think he should thrive in it." [LNB]O'Neill added: "I know Emile from my days at Leicester, and he was fantastic for us. He had plenty of natural talent, even though he was only a young kid. [LNB]"He played out wide for a season and did the sort of work that Ashley Young and James Milner now do for us at Villa. [LNB]"We were sad to see him leave. But he wanted to go to Liverpool and play with Michael Owen - and he has done exceptionally well in his career. [LNB]"I will be delighted to renew acquaintances with him. He is still relatively young at 31, and in good shape." [LNB]Heskey's expected arrival has come too late for him to be involved in the FA Cup clash with Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium. [LNB]But he will be eligible to play later in the competition if Villa make progress, after not featuring for Wigan in their third-round tie against Tottenham.[LNB]

Source: Telegraph