The muscular centre-forward retains the faith of coach Fabio Capello despite struggling for a game at his club. He only started 16 league matches for Villa in 2009/10 and none after being injured on 24 March, his seven subsequent outings all coming as a substitute.
Jettisoned by England after a mistake against France at Euro 2004, Heskey has enjoyed an international renaissance since his recall in September 2007 and has forged an effective partnership with Wayne Rooney.
But his goalscoring record remains poor – prior to the start of the tournament, South American goalkeepers Rene Higuita and Jose Luis Chilavert had both scored one goal more in international football than Heskey’s seven.
Despite that, he has been a record signing for three clubs – Liverpool (£11m in 2001), Birmingham (£6.25m in 2004) and Wigan (£5.5m in 2006), having begun his career at Leicester.
Heskey was revealed as the England player who caused Capello to lose his temper by texting on his phone during a squad dinner in Ukraine last October. Phones are now banned at meal times.
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