Leeds’ season officially ended on Saturday, though you could say it never really got started. Going down 2-1 to Leicester at home meant that we didn’t even go out on a high, but the game itself did at least throw up a few interesting developments involving Jermaine Beckford.
Jermaine received a good reception from the fans and after his goalscoring exploits whilst in the white shirt it’s easy to understand why, but it was nice, if not a little surprising, to see Beckford acknowledge the fans with the Leeds salute. In fact, so obvious was his affection to the Leeds fans that Nigel Pearson opted to sub him at half time to prevent him receiving an ovation from the fans as he left the field of play.
After the game, Jermaine was more than happy to sign pictures for the Leeds fans that had stayed behind to see him. To one person he even stated how the only shirt he’d ever be scoring in again at Elland Road would be a Leeds one. Strong words for the centre forward of another team, in the same division.
Ken Bates has admitted a few times how he’s been offered the services of Beckford on more than one occasion, opting not to resign the striker as he felt it was ”best to move on” which roughly translates to ‘would cost too much’, but with Beckfords obvious admiration for the club and the fans, perhaps it would be worth giving this relationship one more try. Rumours in Leicester are that Beckford to Leeds is already a done deal, which is a tad premature to say the least, but with a few of the current squad reportedly telling the fans at the end of season party that Neil Warnock has already signed three players it’s hard not to at least hold a little hope that we might be chanting Beckfords name once again next season.
Another old boy that could be making a move is Alan Smith, who has been linked to Leeds in every transfer window in recent memory. Smith has recently been speaking about potentially taking up a coaching role at Newcastle United, but with Newcastle flying high in the Premier League it’s hard to imagine where he’d fit in.
This transfer window could actually be the one in which Smith returns, with Neil Warnock telling the fans how the dressing room next season will only contain players that can handle playing for Leeds. Nevertheless, putting memories and the potential problems with wages to one side, it’d be hard to imagine Smith back in the white shirt. While he would undoubtedly bring passion, he would struggle to bring any real quality to the team with his best days seemingly behind him. Despite this, unless Smith has his future cleared up quickly you can be sure that this is a story that will last the whole summer, even if the fans have heard it all before.
One player that is certainly not ex-Leeds is El Hadji Diouf, who has been strongly linked with a move to Elland Road. Diouf went on record to state how he’d love to help Leeds win promotion and how any past problems with Neil Warnock were forgotten.
Warnock himself was asked specifically about Diouf whilst being interviewed by TalkSport, Warnock insisted that his line was breaking up, then put the phone down. The very same routine he played out when TalkSport asked Warnock whether he’d be taking the Leeds job, and we all now how that turned out.
Whether Beckford, Smith or Diouf do find themselves at Elland Road come the start of the new season is anyones guess, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I’m keeping my fingers crossed over one in particular, bruv.