Emile Heskey: Leicester could have themselves a new star this season

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It’s been a tough old summer for Premier League champions Leicester, whose star men have been the object of affection for near enough all of Europe’s biggest clubs, but it’s a lesser-known Fox who can shine this season, according to local hero Emile Heskey.

The East Midlands’ club have fought hard to keep hold of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, but the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool have been desperately trying to sign Foxes left-back Ben Chilwell, who is regarded as one of England’s brightest talents.

Leicester moved fast this summer to stave off attention for his services, agreeing a new five-year-deal with the left-back at the end of July, and Heskey is under no illusions why the Foxes were so keen to hold on to him.

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes News at the launch of our new partnership with the FA, Heskey said of the 19-year-old: “He could be brilliant for Leicester.”

“The first time I saw him play was when I was watching the semi-final of the U18 FA Youth Cup a couple of seasons ago, and he was very, very good, he’s very comfortable on the ball.”

The former Leicester hero then got first-hand experience of Chilwell’s talent last season.

“The following season I came up against him when I was at Bolton and he was at Huddersfield on loan,” Heskey explained.

“Again he was so comfortable on the ball and at ease going forward. At times he plays so high up for a left-back you think he’s a winger, that’s how high he is.

“But his recovery speed when his team loses the ball is very quick too, so his defensive play is superb as well,” the ex-England international added.

The teenager has enjoyed a busy summer, with Chilwell turning out for England at the Toulon tournament, before becoming a regular part of Leicester pre-season contests across the globe, impressing Heskey once again.

“This pre-season he’s taken it to another level, he’s looked so comfortable on and off the ball, he’s one for the future but I think, with the extra games for Leicester this season, you’ll be seeing a lot more of Ben this year.”

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Richard Marsh

Richard loves his sport, especially if it involves the sound of tyres screaming around a race track. He's not fussy though and his '90s Premier League nostalgia and knowledge of team nicknames is tough to match.