ISL 2017: I almost signed FC Pune City in 2014, says Emile Heskey
- Having turned down FC Pune City, Emile Heskey had signed for Bolton Wanderers in 2014.
What's the story?
Emile Heskey, on his trip to Mumbai, revealed how he almost joined the ISL in its maiden season. The former England and Liverpool striker claimed to have almost signed for FC Pune City but instead ended up joining Bolton Wanderers on a two-year deal. He also claimed to have watched the final of the inaugural season between Kerala Blasters and Atletico de Kolkata.
In case you didn't know
The Leicester-born striker had represented Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa and Newcastle Jets before joining Bolton. He has also represented England 62 times in the process. He admitted at the Legends of Match programme that English football has had a big influence on the Indian Super League since a number of foreign players and coaches in the league are from England.
The heart of the matter
Indian Super League would have had another star had Heskey joined FC Pune City but they instead went on to sign David Trezeguet as their foreign striker. However, Heskey made sure that he kept track of the ISL.
"I nearly joined an ISL team. I was offered a contract by FC Pune City in 2014, but I don't know why I didn't accept it. I ended up joining English club Bolton Wanderers," said Heskey.
Heskey also said that he has been keeping close tabs on the cash-rich tournament, due to the presence of certain English players.
"Wes Brown (Kerala Blasters) is a very good friend, so I keep an eye on the league," he said.
Heskey retired from club international football in 2010 and from club football in six years later. He will, however, be featured in the legends match which will feature other English stars as well in India.
FC Pune City would have definitely got a very experienced player had he joined the club and the younger players would have learnt more from his stints in the Premier League. We feel that he can still join an ISL side in future in a coaching or managerial role.