Collymore's role in Heskey move

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The Independent Online

Liverpool's Emile Heskey has revealed that Stan Collymore persuaded him to join Gérard Houllier's Anfield revolution. The England striker believes Anfield fans have Collymore, who left Liverpool under a cloud three years ago having fallen out with team-mates and then manager Roy Evans, to thank for his £11m move last March.

Liverpool's Emile Heskey has revealed that Stan Collymore persuaded him to join Gérard Houllier's Anfield revolution. The England striker believes Anfield fans have Collymore, who left Liverpool under a cloud three years ago having fallen out with team-mates and then manager Roy Evans, to thank for his £11m move last March.

After joining Aston Villa, Collymore is reputed to have coined the "Spice Boys" jibe that has since dogged Liverpool. But when Heskey's transfer talks were reaching a climax, Collymore was playing alongside him in Leicester's attack and offered the advice he should join Liverpool. "I spoke to Stan just before I came to Liverpool and he only had good things to say, so it made it a lot easier to decide," said Heskey.

Houllier, who celebrates two years in control at Anfield tomorrow when Liverpool face Coventry, is clearly delighted with his acquisition. Heskey has now settled at Anfield and scored his seventh goal in seven games on Thursday in the Czech Republic, where Liverpool reached the last 32 of the Uefa Cup with a 4-2 aggregate win against Slovan Liberec. "There was a lot said about the money I cost when I first arrived," Heskey said, "but I don't listen to things like that. Hopefully, I can keep on performing as I have been recently."

Heskey, one of six Liverpool players called up by England for Wednesday's friendly in Italy, is looking forward to working with Peter Taylor, his coach at Under-21 level. "I learned a lot with him. One to one with players, he's excellent and talks to you an awful lot."

Heskey can expect to start in his more familiar central attacking job, rather than the wide role he had in Finland. He said: "I was very surprised when I was asked to play as a left winger," he said.

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