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Wigan chairman Whelan: Heskey deserves England chance

Wigan Athletic chairman Dave Whelan is backing striker Emile Heskey to prove his worth in an England shirt.

"Emile should have been back in the England side long before now in my view - he's been a wonderful signing for Wigan and is back to his best. I've nothing but admiration for the lad," said Whelan. "I just hope he can silence all the so-called experts who have criticised his recall and claimed Wigan are not one of the more fashionable teams.

"Believe me, I've known a lot of footballers and this fella has the finest attitude in a player I've ever seen.

"He's a brilliant striker and I hope he silences and has the last laugh on the lot of them who are not keen on him being back in the England side.

"Emile is not an infill - he deserves his chance and he won't let anyone down.

"He's a great pro and he is brilliant in the dressing room. England have been crying out for a striker who can hold the ball up. A player like Michael Owen has said in the past how he enjoyed playing alongside Heskey and Emile has the ability to feed him and set up chances.

"He is also outstanding in the air. Last season we went to Sheffield United and he was forced to play at centre-back where he stood out and won everything."

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