Leon Best On the Brink of Departure- The Verdict
Newcastle have seemingly accepted a bid for Leon Best in the region of £2 million from Blackburn Rovers.
Steve Kean has lined up Best to fill the void of Yakubu as he heads over to China on a big money deal, but is the Championship his right level?
In January, Best rejected a move to Celtic in order to attempt to fight for his place, but sadly a knee injury meant he couldn’t figure in the run-in and this means he has quite possibly played his final game for the Magpies. Will he again stay and fight for his place, or opt to accept he’s not first choice and move on?
There are many arguments that suggest that Best should stay on, and that he still offers a lot to the club. If Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba (provided the latter stays) are to be Newcastle’s first choice, then Shola Ameobi and Best would on paper provide to cover.
Yet, as Newcastle head into a Europa League campaign that will make the fixture list becomes congested, this depth in squad will be needed. Is it worth offloading Best to sign somebody for a bigger fee who will only play a bit-part role?
He has proved that he can be a good goal scoring threat, with a ratio of 1 goal in 4 games in the Premiership by no means disgraceful, especially as a lot of those appearances have come off the bench. He had a great start to the season, scoring in games against Fulham, Aston Villa, and bagging a crucial winner in the QPR clash, and these exploits shouldn’t be forgotten when assessing his contribution to the club and their season last term.
However, there are views which would suggest that if Newcastle are going to progress and have another successful season, they need to harbor ambitions of having better players than Best on their books. There have been enquries made for other forward players across Europe, and it looks as though the club are certainly in the market for another striker, which would spell the end for Best. Does this also mean the end for Ameobi? He’s heading into the end of his career now, whereas Best is only 25, so maybe he will start to look at finding some first team football.
Either way, I’m sure fans of Newcastle United would like the thank Best for his performances and efforts since his move from Coventry City back in February 2010 on deadline day, and I hope I speak for all the supporters in wishing Leon all the Best for the future.
What do you think about Leon Best? Think Shola will follow him out the door? Get involved, either on the site or by finding me us on Twitter at @thespectoview
by Harry Aitkenhead
A useful player when called upon, and, as you say here, his goals were a factor in Newcastle’s excellent start to last season, only to be eclipsed as Dembamania took hold.
Credit to Leon if he chooses to drop down a division for footballing reasons. Blackburn will be getting a striker with a phenomenal scoring record in the lower divisions and now entering his peak years, one who seems to be more interested in playing and scoring than living off more illustrious teammates.
Hopefully Newcastle will add a third international-quality forward to their ranks and give Pardew the option to rotate his frontline, while Shola will continue as the eternal wild-card sub.