Emile Heskey released by Aston Villa

 

Former England striker Emile Heskey has been released by Aston Villa after three and a half years with the midlands club.

Heskey had already indicated he would be leaving after the final home game of the campaign against Tottenham and he has not been offered a new contract.

Defender Carlos Cuellar has also parted company with Villa but the Spaniard is looking to remain in England.

Number two keeper Brad Guzan is the third first team squad member to be leaving Villa Park at the end of his contract.

Heskey, who joined Villa from Wigan during January 2009, has made it clear he wants to continue playing and has been linked with his first club, Leicester.

He has been dogged by an achilles problem this season but returned to the side during the latter part of the campaign.

Cuellar moved from Rangers in an £7.8 million deal five years ago and became a versatile performer in operating at right-back, left-back and centre-back.

American international Guzan had to be content with being understudy to Brad Friedel and then Shay Given during his four years at Villa.

But he impressed the then manager Alex McLeish when an injury to Given led to a six-week spell of first team action last season.

Ebby Nelson Addy, Connor Taylor, Charlie Ward, Reece Caira, Richard Bryan, Matthew Coton, Darious Darkin and Seb Jenkins have also been released from the academy.

Guzan admitted a desire to play first-team football was behind his decision to part company with Villa after discussions over a new contract.

He told the Wolverhampton Express and Star: "For me, my first and foremost priority is sorting out my club situation because at my age I need to be playing games.

"I want to be playing games and I think I've proven, not only to myself but to my team-mates and to coaches, that I can play at the highest level and if given the opportunity I can play well.

"When you get that taste of first-team experience you want more of it, and for me, going back to a back-up role was frustrating. It was definitely frustrating.

"At the top level you may only get one chance and when you get that chance you have to take it.

"Fortunately for me, I think I was able to when I came in and now hopefully I'm able to reap the benefits in terms of going somewhere and getting a starting spot."

PA

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