The Villa boss has been impressed with the way Heskey has slotted into the position in training during the international break and could provide back-up in that department.
McLeish said: "We now know what Emile can do. He can play in any position. I could even play him at the back without any fears.
"We played him at centre-back last week (in training) and he was spraying the ball about as if I was watching Franz Beckenbauer. He is a brilliant all-round player, he understands the game and we need him in the squad."
Meanwhile, McLeish wants to retain the services of first team coach Kevin MacDonald who has been linked with the vacant manager's role at Nottingham Forest.
He said: "I'd like to keep Kevin. He is a cherished first team staff member. The knowledge of him and Gordon Cowans has been vital to me settling in at Aston Villa."