If there’s one sure fire way to give Leeds United fans a desperately needed lift this January then re-signing Jermaine Beckford from Leicester City would be top of any list.
Unfortunately, I just can’t see it happening, and here’s why;
1. Saving Face
When Jermaine Beckford left Elland Road, he did so with dreams of taking the Premier League by storm at Everton. 18 months on, he’s playing for a club that currently sits four places below us in the Championship. Accepting he made a mistake before performing a u-turn seems incredibly unlikely.
The fact Leicester City are struggling more than we are should mean we’re the better bet for Premier League football next season though, shouldn’t it? Well no, not really. Things haven’t quite fallen into place for The Foxes yet, but they’ll keep throwing money at it and something will stick sooner or later.
Leeds on the other hand are achieving pretty much what we all expected them to, and there’s no real reason to believe our position will improve by much. We’re three, maybe four quality additions shy of a decent shot and it’s hard to see where they’re going to come from given the limited resources available to the manager, which incidentally, brings us on to my next point…
2. Wage Demands
The only reason Leicester City were able to prise Jermaine Beckford away from his cushy little earner in the Premier League was by offering wages well above what Ken Bates likes to dish out.
It’s all well and good having a wage cap at Elland Road, but all that really means is that when we’re attempting to sign big names like Keith Andrews, Ipswich Town will simply offer a few quid more and we’re left with Michael Brown. Our wage cap is a bit like communism – it sounds good in theory.
The theory falls apart however when you try to sign anyone that is above the standard quality of this division. Average players will accept an average wage. The better ones won’t.
3. The Price Tag
Wages don’t matter though because there’s a huge hurdle we’d have to overcome before that which Ken Bates’ stumpy little legs simply can’t clear.
Leicester City paid £2.5m for Jermaine Beckford, and the rumour is, that they want to recoup as much of that as possible. Our starting and finishing bid of £30 and one Billy Paynter is unlikely to seal it.
In fact, I doubt we’d even offer that. Can anyone seriously see Ken Bates offering money for a player who walked away on a free? He’d never sleep again, such insanity would give him nightmares.
The single biggest reason why I can’t see this happening is the small matter of not actually needing a striker.
Transfer windows open, fans get excited and it’s always the glamour players that people want to talk about. But Leeds’ problems are not up front, nor have they been at any stage since Jermaine Beckford left.
We have a midfield held together by a 34-year old mad man with all the creativity of a paint-by-numbers masterpiece and a defence taking shifts in the injury room to ensure Ben Parker has some company. The attack is the last thing we should be worrying about.
If we were the Man City of Championship football, then signing Jermaine Beckford would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, we’re not. We’re Ken Bates led Leeds United and there’s absolutely no way he’ll make an exception to points 2 and 3 for a player we simply don’t need.
As nice at it’d be to see Jermaine Beckford back, it would take such an almighty shift in our transfer policy that I’d give you better odds on a meteor hitting Old Trafford.