Michael Bridges believes Newcastle Jets striker Emile Heskey still has what it takes to earn an England recall.
The former Leicester, Liverpool and Aston Villa striker has made a solid start to his A-League career with four goals in his first four starts – including a bicycle kick as part of a double against Melbourne Victory – and Bridges believes his team-mate could still be a success at international level.
“England’s current number nine is Andy Carroll, and while I certainly have nothing against him, I feel Emile could certainly still offer something for his country again were the chance to arise,” Bridges told reporters.
“He’s done many good things for England in the past and people who understand the game acknowledge that.
“As for playing for England again, personally I would say why not?
“When Emile left England after being released by Villa there were two other Premier League clubs interested in him, but he wanted to try a new adventure and getting him has been a real coup for our club.
“He’s definitely still good enough to thrive in the Premier League, no doubt about it.
“He still has that hunger in his belly and I know he’s been very pleasantly surprised at what the A-League has to offer.”
Former Leeds United striker Bridges also believes Heskey’s decision to leave England will extend his playing career.
“He will only play one game a week, the weather stops the aches and pains from past operations from resurfacing and you are not playing 60 games a season – it’s more like 32 tops,” he said.
“In football terms, he has found a new lease of life. He’s become a hero over here very fast, whereas in England some people always picked on the negatives.
“In Australia the feelings and sentiments couldn’t be more different, and long may that continue.”