‘You look at Trent and Robertson and he was just as good as them.’ …
Robertson and Alexander-Arnold are two of the best full-backs in the world, with the latter emerging from Liverpool’s academy and his Scottish team-mate signed from Hull after they were relegated from the top flight in 2017.
Heskey spent four years at Liverpool and revealed the Red he felt showed the most promise but never managed to fulfil his potential.
‘I think he went to Norwich [eventually] but when I arrived at Liverpool [in 2000] Jon Otsemobor was a right-back and he was flying,’ Heskey recalled, speaking exclusively to 888sport.
‘I don’t know what happened. He just tailed off.
‘But he was good and had so much energy which you really needed for that position in those days because when you over-lapped a winger he wasn’t getting back for you – it was every man for himself back then.
‘He was very good but never quite fulfilled it. You look at Trent and Robertson and he was just as good as them.’
Otsemobor was born in Liverpool and like Alexander-Arnold, rose through the youth ranks before breaking into the first-team to play at right-back.
But the local lad never made the grade at Liverpool and left the club to join Rotherham United in 2005 before spells at Norwich, Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday.
Heskey, on the other hand, was a key figure during his time at Liverpool and played under Gerard Houllier.
Rafael Benitez’s arrival at Liverpool in 2004 coincided with Heskey’s departure, but the Englishman explained how crucial Houllier was to the club’s success in the years after his exit.
‘My relationship with Houllier was great and when people ask me who was the best manager I worked under I say it’s between him and Martin O’Neill,’ he said.
‘Martin gave me my first opportunity and made sure I played without fear and allowed me to do what I love and what I’m capable of doing.
‘Gerard Houllier put a bit more structure to that. He was brilliant in that sense. He was probably ahead of his time because the things he was doing then everyone is doing now.
‘When it comes to nutrition and diet, he was doing that years ago and encouraging us but we weren’t mentally ‘there’ then.
‘I know some older players who were there back then and they recognise now the things he was trying to get us to do, but we were stuck in our ways.
‘He was a bit before his time and he were there now he would see even more results that what he got.
‘He laid the foundations because the large majority of the [Liverpool] squad he took on he took to another level.’
Read the full 888sport interview with Emile Heskey here
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