Leeds United’s Jermaine Beckford recent goal exploits have propelled Leeds’s fantastic FA Cup run and to a likely promotion from League One. Yet Have Leeds United been better for Beckford than Beckford for Leeds?
During the January transfer window all the talk in Yorkshire was the strong possibility of Leeds United top scorer Jermaine Beckford leaving the club. Having handed a transfer request in Leeds did not wish to lose their star striker and turned away numerous bids including the well published interest from Championship leaders Newcastle United. The window shut and Beckford stayed, but with his contract up at the end of the season, it looks likely the goal machine will move to the Premier League with Everton favourites to capture his signature. Yet as much as Beckford has helped Leeds, in particular his goals at Old Trafford and White Hart Lane, Leeds have done far more for him.
Jermaine Beckford began his career as a Chelsea youth product yet was released in 2003 after failing to make the grade. He subsequently joined Isthmian League side Wealdstone as a part timer. To earn extra cash to pay the bills, Beckford used to fit tyres for the RAC. Just remember that when you think of his goals in the FA Cup. After impressing with 35 goals in 40 games for the non-league side, numerous clubs came to scout him with Leeds showing solid interest paying just £45000 for the striker in 2006. It took Beckford a while to find his feet at Leeds and spent time on loan with Carlisle and Scunthorpe United. Yet after a successful spell at Scunthorpe where he was involved in their promotion, Leeds United, under Dennis Wise at this point, began to start Beckford regularly and he rediscovered his Wealdstone form yet at a higher level.
Beckford’s 78 goals in 129 appearances for Leeds United are extremely impressive for a former tyre fitter with the RAC. Whilst riches may await the talented Beckford in the Premier League he would never have had such an opportunity if Leeds had not taken a punt on him in 2006. Let’s not forget Leeds United is a massive club steeped in history and heritage and belong in the Premier League. At Leeds he is king and with their likely promotion to the Championship Beckford would have an opportunity to test himself yet again at a higher level. The jump to a club like Everton in the Premier League may be either too soon or too much pressure for Beckford. Let’s not forget a certain DJ Campbell.
Beckford’s movement can be sensational, when he decides to move that is and his first touch is quite poor, particularly at Premier League standard, but the lad can score goals. Leeds United has done so much for him by giving him an opportunity to play professionally, putting him in the national arena and furthermore adoring him. Beckford should sign a new three year deal at Leeds, gain a considerable wage rise and perform in the Championship where make no mistake within 3 years if Ken Bates gives Simon Grayson the funds, Leeds could be back in the Premier League. Beckford will get his Premier League chance, but he should do it with Leeds, they took a chance on him, he should take a chance on them.