With Senegalese duo Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse leading the way, the need for Best has been greatly reduced for the Magpies, as Shola Ameobi has now taken the role of the back-up striker. That said, Ba and Cisse will likely be competing in the African Cup of Nations every season that they are at Newcastle, which could take them out of the line-up for a good month each year. Newcastle could certainly have used Best’s production at that time, but the striker wanted to start, so Alan Pardew will just have to take that £3 million and use it to bring in yet another back-up striker.
For Blackburn, Best could finally have a break-out season, making good of the raw talent he has shown in a Newcastle shirt. Fans will remember the Irish internationals hat-trick against West ham in the 2010-11 season in particular as evidence of his talents, and if he can reproduce that sort of form in the Championship, he could end up as one of the league’s top scorers.
Best will likely start for Blackburn, as they prepare for an exodus of players this summer that will definitely include star striker Yakubu, who has signed with Guangzhou R&F in China. After scoring 10 goals in 29 Premier League appearances over the last two seasons, Best should certainly be ready to take on the lesser defenders he’ll face.
Best’s physical style of play is definitely suited to Championship football, as shown by his of the Championship Player of the Month award for September during his stint with Coventry City.
Now a few years older, Best is about to enter his prime, and the Championship should be wary of the potential that the striker possesses. Having been battle-tested against the likes of John Terry and Nemanja Vidic in the Premier League, Best will be more than ready for the challenge the Championship will provide for him this time round, and he could cause some major problems as he looks to get Blackburn back where they belong.
Best has been given Alan Shearer’s old number 9 shirt at Blackburn, and if that doesn’t show the faith Rovers have in their new striker, then I don’t know what will.
With former Fulham midfielder Daniel Murphy also making his way to Blackburn for the promotion push, it may not be too long before we see Leon Best back in the Premier League.