July 12, 2024

“He tried to lure me to Celtic a couple of times, but I didn’t fancy it up there,” Heskey

Emile Heskey discussed Celtic’s attempts to sign him in an interview with Four Four Two magazine. The former Liverpool and Leicester City striker, who excelled under Celtic manager Martin O’Neill at Leicester, revealed that O’Neill tried to bring him to Celtic Park on multiple occasions.

Upon O’Neill’s arrival at Celtic, he faced the challenging task of revitalizing a team that had long been overshadowed by a financially dominant Ibrox club. Despite a single title interrupting the opponent’s quest for Ten-in-a-row, Celtic had limited success in terms of silverware and trophies over the previous decade.

Heskey, who won an English League Cup with Leicester, emphasized that the team built by David Murray at Rangers set the standard. O’Neill aimed to elevate Celtic to that level, focusing on building a powerful and fast-paced team that could both score goals prolifically and defend robustly.

O’Neill’s recruits included physically imposing players such as Chris Sutton, Joos Valgaeren, Bobo Balde, and John Hartson. The manager prioritized strength in his team, and this philosophy characterized Celtic during his tenure. Heskey, reflecting on O’Neill’s attempts to sign him during their time in Scotland, disclosed that he was not keen on Scottish football and was ultimately swayed by the allure of playing for Aston Villa.

In his conversation with FourFourTwo, Heskey explained, “He attempted to entice me to Celtic on a couple of occasions, but I wasn’t attracted to the idea of playing there. Villa, being a massive club, held significant appeal to me, especially considering my Midlands roots. While we aimed to break into the top four, the constant substantial investments by other clubs made it challenging. Despite this, finishing sixth twice and securing European qualification was a noteworthy achievement for us.”

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