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Heskey calls on Southgate to pick Watkins as Kane deputy
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Adam Drury
Ollie Watkins is in contention for England selection
Ollie Watkins is in contention for England selection

Emile Heskey believes Aston Villa striker Ollie Watkins would be a valuable addition to Gareth Southgate's England squad, which will be named on Thursday.

Watkins scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 win over Brighton last Saturday, his second of the season after also bagging three goals at Hibernian in the Europa Conference League in August.

And former Villan Heskey says the 27-year-old's attributes make him a perfect option to play second fiddle to Three Lions skipper Harry Kane.

Heskey exclusively told LiveScore: "I like him a lot.

"We all know that Kane is the No1 choice but when you have pace like that and you want to open up a defence, I think Watkins is a great choice.

"I've said it before and I still think he is a fantastic option for Gareth and the national team."

Emile Heskey made 62 appearances for England
Emile Heskey made 62 appearances for England

Ex-England striker Heskey, 45, added: "He has a lot of pace and no defender likes coming up against that. But he is not just quick, he is direct and very happy to use that weapon.

"He's developed that knack for getting into the right areas to finish off chances as well. He's always in the action."

Watkins has played seven matches for Southgate's side, scoring two goals, but has not featured since March 2022 when he netted against Ivory Coast in a friendly at Wembley.

He previously struck on debut in a World Cup qualifier against San Marino in March 2021.

The competition to be selected as Kane's deputy for Euro 2024 is hotting up, with Callum Wilson and Eddie Nketiah named in Southgate's last squad and Ivan Toney set to return to contention in January.

Emile Heskey was speaking on behalf of


Ollie WatkinsAston VillaEnglandPremier League
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