Villa complete Heskey signing

Aston Villa tonight completed the signing of England striker Emile Heskey from Wigan in a £3.5m deal.

Heskey has been reunited with his former Leicester boss Martin O'Neill after signing a three-and-a-half-year contract.

The 31-year-old put pen to paper after passing a medical and agreeing personal terms with the midlands club.

He becomes O'Neill's first signing in the January transfer window and is set to make his debut in Tuesday's Barclays Premier League clash at Portsmouth.

O'Neill said: "I am absolutely delighted. Emile has been a brilliant player for a number of years and this is great news. It gives us all a big boost - the football club, myself and the players.

"He has arrived at a really important time. We have got a bit of momentum going. We haven't the largest squad in the world.

"John Carew is coming back from his back injury but is still a week or two away from being ready to return and Emile couldn't be arriving at a more opportune moment.

"I think he could play with Gabby (Agbonlahor) and John (Carew) and I think he will give us an enormous lift. I have got no doubts that he will improve us and will help to improve Gabby and other players around him.

"When people like Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen say Emile is good to play with, that is good enough.

"I am delighted he has come now because he would have had a lot of interest in the summer when his contract was ended.

"I think he should be not only happy in the environment here, I think he should thrive in it."

O'Neill added: "I know Emile from my days at Leicester, and he was fantastic for us. He had plenty of natural talent, even though he was only a young kid.

"He played out wide for a season and did the sort of work that Ashley Young and James Milner now do for us at Villa.

"We were sad to see him leave. But he wanted to go to Liverpool and play with Michael Owen - and he has done exceptionally well in his career.

"I will be delighted to renew acquaintances with him. He is still relatively young at 31, and in good shape."

Heskey's expected arrival has come too late for him to be involved in tomorrow's FA Cup clash with Doncaster at the Keepmoat Stadium.

But he will be eligible to play later in the competition if Villa make progress, after not featuring for Wigan in their third-round tie against Tottenham.

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
tv
Sport
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Voices
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
music
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Sport
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
art
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine