Football Insights – Emile Heskey
With football currently on the backburner Emile Heskey took the time out to talk exclusively to GentingBet about the impact the current global pandemic is having on football and some of the latest transfer news. Have a look at what Emile spoke about below and with less than 5% of the sporting calendar going on, Irish racing still continues if betting on horseracing is your thing otherwise don’t forget GentingBet also has all of your favourite slots and table games available in our casino!
Have the Premier League made the right decision by committing to finish the Premier League season as and when able?
The Premier League have done the right thing by saying that the season must be finished. I think that UEFA have also done the right thing by postponing the Euros to allow the domestic leagues to finish. When they can actually commence, we don’t know as of yet, but I still think that it is the right thing that they have done.
How difficult will players find it to stay fit and match-ready during such uncertain times?
It will be very tough for the players to stay match-fit during this period. Obviously, there is social distancing and a number of teams have called off their actual due dates to start training again – so that’s going to be difficult to keep everyone in tip top shape. Don’t get me wrong, the players are so professional nowadays that they will be doing their intensive programmes at home. But being on the pitch, getting the feel for the ball, getting that movement of checking, turning and dribbling is completely different to being at home even if it is an intensive workout session.
Would you be happy for the Premier League to finish behind-closed-doors or does the season need to finish only once it is safe for fans to attend again?
Finishing the season off behind closed doors has to be an option. I feel like we are reading too much into it. It needs to be an option on a safety level but also to actually get the season finished as well.
After the success that Klopp has achieved, do you think there is a danger that he might leave Liverpool to take on a new challenge at either Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich?
There is always an option that Klopp could leave to join a club like Real Madrid or Barcelona but I don’t think that Klopp is finished with the project that he has started at Liverpool. They are moving into a new training facility, they are really getting to where they feel that they can be when it comes to being recognised as an international brand as a football club. Klopp has really put them on the map there. I think Klopp still feels like he has a lot to do. So, I don’t think the fans will be overly worried about Klopp leaving.
Jadon Sancho has been linked with a move to Liverpool. How much would he improve Liverpool and is Klopp the perfect manager for him at this stage of his career?
When you look at Jadon Sancho’s age, he will always be an asset to Liverpool. In two to three years, you’ve got an ageing Liverpool side – even though in this day and age and with the fitness levels of all the players, age is nothing. But having someone young, fresh and dynamic coming in, it will only add to the squad and I think that is where Jurgen is going to be looking at next. What can he add to the squad that is going to give Liverpool that little bit more longevity.
Is Sancho at a stage of his career where he can come in and replace any of Liverpool’s current Front Three?
When you look at the Liverpool frontline, you’ve got Mane and Salah as the goal-getters and that is exactly what they do well. They command a respect from defenders as a result. You’d like to think that Sancho has the quality to get in the side but it will be very tough to get in ahead of Salah or Mane.
Philippe Coutinho has recently shared his regrets about leaving Liverpool for Barcelona. Do you think Liverpool should look at resigning him?
Liverpool don’t generally resign players – Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush were the exceptions. No disrespect to Coutinho as he is a fabulous player but where would he fit in the side right now? The side is looking so good at this moment in time that you can’t see him fitting in unless you change the formation. He could then possibly get in the side but Liverpool don’t necessarily need him right now
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang approaching the end of his contract at Arsenal, should Klopp look to tempt him to Liverpool? And would he start ahead of any of Liverpools current Front Three?
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is a wonderful goal-getter. His stats are amazing. He is showing time and time again that he is a goal scorer. He’s playing in an Arsenal side that isn’t really fancied in and around the league but he’s going out and scoring week in and week out. He’s challenging for the Golden Boot. He’s Mr Consistent. But, will he fit in the Liverpool system? Probably not. I don’t think that he would be an ideal fit for Liverpool.
Liverpool have been linked with Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz – is he someone Liverpool should be pursuing?
Fabian Ruiz looks like a phenomenal player and Liverpool’s midfield is an area that needs strengthening a little bit with it ageing. A player like that would be good for Liverpool. Someone who can drive from the midfield, someone who can create stuff – he is a player that I’m sure Liverpool would love to have.
Liverpool have been linked to Bayer Leverkusen starlet Kai Havertz. How much will he add to this Liverpool side?
Kai Havertz is a young, dynamic player. So, adding that to the current Liverpool side is always good. You always need options. When you have a young, hungry lad come in, it puts pressure on the more senior players to go out there and perform. This is what you need at the top clubs. You need three players per position that are putting pressure on all the others to perform. If you haven’t got that, that is when people get complacent. When a player knows they have someone behind them ready to take their position, it keeps everyone on their toes.
Should Liverpool do all they can to sign Timo Werner?
Timo Werner is another young player who has done phenomenally well. When you’re bringing in young players, you want ones that are tried and tested, who knows what it takes to perform at the top level. Those players are always going to be an asset. Werner looks phenomenal – his pace looks great. Klopp obviously knows a lot about the German League as well, so I’m sure he’ll be keen to get his teeth stuck into him.
What is the area in the squad that Liverpool most need to address?
Liverpool need to strengthen their back-up options and their strength in depth – people putting pressure on the Starting 11. When you look at the Starting 11, it is quite strong but when you look at the back-up options, which players are putting pressure on the players to perform, there isn’t really much there. It would be great if they were able to add quality to the full squad so that everyone knows it is a serious squad. You want to get to the stage where one player is coming off but another player is coming on, stepping into his position so that it all works like clockwork.
Will Jack Grealish join Man United in the summer?
There is every chance that Jack Grealish will join Man United in the summer. I don’t think that Jack will be at Villa come the end of the season. He’s done a phenomenal job for them since he started out at the club. I played with him when I was at Villa, he was only a young lad, he used to come and train with us – he was a phenomenal player even then and he has gone from strength to strength. He’s taken everything on his shoulders at a young age. He’s a very young captain but has been very positive with it. He’s stayed at Villa a lot longer than a lot of people would have thought he would, so full credit to him. Villa will now get a decent fee for him and he’ll go on and make a stellar career.
There are a host of clubs after Grealishs signature. Who do you recommend him joining in the summer?
I think Jack Grealish would do well at Man United. He’s a commanding midfielder and the kind that they’ve missed recently. They have it now in Fernandes but having another one alongside him who could drive from the midfield – that’s Jack all over. But Jack can play in several different positions very well. He would do very well at Manchester United.
Where does Jack Grealish rank in terms of Aston Villas greatest players?
Jack Grealish us up there on the list of Aston Villa’s greatest players. He’s a local lad that has come through to captain his club at a very young age. He brought them up in to the Premier League and has been the mainstay, he hasn’t left when he could have, and be a commanding figure throughout – he’s got to be up there with the best of them.
Can Leicester keep hold of their best talent – do you see James Maddison, Ben Chilwell leaving in the summer?
The good thing about Leicester and Brendan is that he’s got an owner that will back him. Leicester are in a position where they don’t necessarily have to do anything – they don’t need to sell any of their players. If he wants to keep players like James Maddison or Ben Chilwell then he can but if he wants to sell them, then you’re commanding some high figures for the both of them. Chilwell would be £60 million, Maddison would be the same. So, you’re talking £120 million which is a lot of money especially if Leicester are able to produce another little gem for just a fraction of that price. On the whole, Leicester are in a very good position.
If Leicester can keep hold of the core of their team this summer, can they challenge for the Premier League next season?
Even if Leicester keep the core of the team together this summer, it is too soon to say that they can challenge for the Premier League next season. They’ve done very well with the position they are in the league at this moment in time but realistically, are the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham going to have just as bad of a season next year as they have had this year? Probably not. So, I think challenging for the league is a bit too soon but you never know, as Brendan has come in and worked wonders. They’ll need to add a couple of players though, especially a forward – Vardy is 33 years old now and he’s still the main figure in terms of goals. I think Iheanacho has done brilliantly when he has been called upon but I’m not sure if he can do it for a full season. So, they might not be challenging for the league but they need to be finishing in the Top Six consistently.
How important of a signing could Adam Lallana be for Leicester?
Adam Lallana signing for Leicester could be a win-win situation for everyone but it does depend on which Adam Lallana Leicester are going to get. I’m a big fan of Lallana, I’ve watched him for several years. He’s very competent and a very confident player on the ball. That’s what you need. But have injuries caught up with him? If you can get the Adam Lallana that I think you can get, then that’s a win-win for everyone.
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