Jermaine Beckford’s transfer out of Leeds now seems somewhat inevitable. For me, it’s simply a matter of time and a question of how much as Ken Bates digs his nails in and tries to ignite a bidding war.

So who do we get to replace him? TSS looks at our options.

Lee Barnard

Southend United, 25 years old.

As consistent as they come at League One level, Barnard has found the back of the net 35 times in his 73 appearances for Southend leaving him just short of the one in two mark.

Although there’s been no rumours linking Barnard to Leeds, he is a proven goal scorer and his contract expires in the summer, so it’s likely we could get him on the cheap (Ken Bates’ favourite word). Likelihood factor: 4 out of 10

Grant Holt

Norwich City, 28 years old.

A bit long in the tooth in comparison to other possible candidates, but Holt certainly has an eye for goal with 14 in the League and 20 in all competitions so far this season. No stranger to the transfer market after with Norwich being his eleventh professional club, Holt has seemingly never settled anywhere.

Only joined Norwich at the beginning of the season and is integral to their promotion push. Selling him would show a massive lack of ambition for a team chasing at our heels so this one for me, is extremely unlikely. Likelihood factor: 1 out of 10.

"You're the one that I want..." Gary Hooper

Gary Hooper

Scunthorpe United, 21 years old

At just 21 years old, Hooper has to be seen as a good signing given that he’s managed 31 goals in 62 games for Scunthorpe and could well develop and take the next step with Leeds United. Contracted until 2011, but with Scunthorpe a likely replacement for Leeds in League One next year, he may be interested in a move.

With his age and record to date, Hooper is my personal favourite, but any a sale would not go down well in Scunthorpe and do little to help their relegation battle. Likelihood factor: 5 out of 10

Billy Sharp

Sheffield United,  23 years old.

Out of favour at Sheffield United and currently on loan to Doncaster Rovers, where he’s found his form hitting 10 goals in 16 league appearances. Billy is from Yorkshire and proved himself to be a natural goal scoring talent at Scunthorpe where he knocked in 53 in 82 games, breaking club records in the process.

Sheffield United will undoubtedly be willing to sell, and I think Billy would be happy to stay local to his home town. At just 23 years of age he’s definitely in the right age group and should be able to take the next step up with Leeds United. Likelihood factor: 9 out of 10 (Heavy favourite)

What about Lambert?

I’m sure Rickie Lambert will be a talking point but we have absolutely no chance of getting him as far as I’m concerned. Southampton don’t need the money and are likely to make the play-offs, so there’s no reason for them to sell.

Anyway, I’ve opened a poll below for you to cast your vote.

Confidence in Neil Warnock?

  • 5 - Total confidence (63%, 2,087 Votes)
  • 4 (30%, 997 Votes)
  • 3 (5%, 163 Votes)
  • 2 (1%, 35 Votes)
  • 1 (0%, 11 Votes)
  • 0 - No confidence (0%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 3,292

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25 Responses

  1. Beckford WILL Stay!

    You’re feeling a bit pessimistic here aren’t you?!

    Apparently on TalkSport, the head of the company who his agent worked for said he was waiting for the summer to decide whether he wanted to commit to Leeds for the future, and he wanted to help get us promotion.Could be a clever game to try and increase his value, but I’m almost sure he’ll be staying here at Leeds at least untill the summer. We’ll see, but staying here untill the end of the season, and scoring hopefully another 20, will do his reputation no harm at all.

    • TSS

      Just can’t see him staying. If he wanted to stay, he’d sign a new contract. He could still submit a transfer request if things don’t work out or have clauses inserted for if we fail to win promotion. His agent is simply trying to increase his value.

      • RichB

        Rubbish!! If he see’s his contract out he can bag most of any transfer fee as part of his next contract, whoever its with. If he is sold it will definately be the club that want the money while they can still get something for him.

  2. Harry Smith

    Why not Sharp and Hooper? Both offer something different and either should form a strong partnership with Becchio – they would also form a good partnership playing together. Hooper is a strong powerful runner & good finisher (as seen at ER last season) who can also play wide, whilst Sharp is more a penalty area player with a great eye for goal. They are also both young and still developing so it would show great ambition and if they came in now they would be well settled ready for the CCC.

    • Raymond George

      Does Beckfords previous club have a sell on clause I heard they had, if so any transfer fee is going to be reduced considerably,if we hung on to him till the end of the season, any windfall from the sale would be replaced and more through promotion to the CCC and then he could proudly leave for nothing , or he may be tempted to stay ,I agree with whats been said about Nufc ,why go there , our outlook is much brighter

  3. simon evans

    I often read your web topics which I generally find interesting

    However I do not think Beckford will be leaving Leeds before the end of the season…..

    Why would you want to disrupt a winning team mentality as a manager ?

    Risk getting automatic promotion ?

    No amount of money will compensate for that

    The scenario is that Beckford stays

    If we get promotion the club will make him an offer he cant refuse to sign again for the club or the club will look for a quality replacement with championship or premiership experience and a proven goalscorer

    Simple really

  4. Tony Currie's Curler

    Apart from the money, which is always a major factor of course.

    I’m sure Beckford is looking at the clubs that are chasing him and asking himself wether it would be a step up regardless of what division these teams are in. Newcastle are the best team in for him but how unstable are they? Houghton in in charge by default, the Chairman doesn’t know if he’s coming or going. They will go up this season but for how long and who will be in charge?

    Middlesborough and Sheffield United seem to be the other two contenders. And it’s a likely hood we’ll at least be their equals next year if not surpass them both in the chase for the premiership.

    If I was Beckford – without his agents pressure to make a quick buck – I’d stay put till the summer. All the options and probably more would still be there. If he went then he’d recieve a hefty signing on fee because there would be no transfer money to pay. He could also ask for a far better contract offer from Leeds, should we be promoted which we will.

    To sum up – going now would not be the clever thing to do. Unless Bates wants to cash in. But even Bates knows how hard it would be to replace him on the cheap.

    • Harry Smith

      I read that Newcastle will treble his Leeds wages with a further rise if promoted. After the events of the past 5/6 years I think we should all back Bates’ policy of only paying the rate for the league we are in – which is why JB didn’t sign in the summer. Beckford is an important part of the team but no more important than Snodgrass / Becchio / Kisnobro / Naylor / Kilkenny / Howson – I hope they don’t disrupt the great team spirit by putting him on the pedestal he craves and giving him big money. Like it or not Newcastle are a bigger club than us at the moment and will probably be in the PL next year so you can’t really blame Beckford for wanting to take his chance, what we don’t want is for it to turn bitter and disrupt the great team spirit at Leeds – so if he wants to go and Newcastle offer enough then let him go – we will get promotion without him.

  5. Paul C

    Whilst I agree with your targets, they seem the best available and Billy Sharp is certainly the most likely however I do see a problem… They will all cost money.

    As far as I am aware our club have not spent more than £250k on any player since Bates took over. All we ever do is accept ‘undisclosed’ fees and spend very little. We attract Bosman players (admittedly some of them diamonds) but we do not go out and buy players for significant fees. The ‘undisclosed’ fee for Delph has disappeared so if we do get a fee for Beckford what evidence is there that the manager will get any of it? It just would go against all Bates instincts to invest any money into the future of the club. He hasnt so far , so why start now?

    I believe that Beckford will go, there will be a bid and even though it doesnt make any sense Bates will accept it. ( He cannot turn down undisclosed fees!) What also worries me is if there is a fee attached to Simon Grayson , if any club comes knocking will Bates turn down the chance to get more cash in? I doubt it.

  6. Harry Smith

    Not sure I get where you are coming from with the lack of investment in the team – last time I looked we were 8pts clear at the top of our league and we’ve just beaten the Scum on their own ground with the best display from a Leeds team at OT in my lifetime. The one blot on the landscape was the failure to buy TA. One of the benefits of Bates is that he knows how to run a football club (we are debt free – rewind 5 yrs) and knows the value of results on the pitch & promotion to the Championship. For this reason I believe him when he says it will primarily be Grayson’s decision as to whether Beckford stays or goes – even Bates knows he would be a fool to piss Grayson off. I think Grayson is smart enough to know the damage an unhappy player who has just been denied a big money move can do to a squad and he will act accordingly – if JB goes he will definitely be replaced.

    • Paul C

      Harry I really do hope you are right that there will be a replacement for Beckford, it would indicate that there has been a change in the clubs policies.

      I do know the history of the club, I just do not fall into the ‘Bates saved us’camp. The major investors into this club in the last few years are the supporters, they have provided the funds to push the club forward and boy do they pay !.

      I believe the club is where it is despite, not because of Ken Bates. Simon Grayson was chosen because of his ability to fashion a promotion winning team with few resources. In that I fully accept Bates chose well and Simon has certainly done a fantastic job and the club are in a great position.(Sunday was probably my most memorable game ever…heaven!) Trouble is Ken Bates has never seemed worried to me about pissing anybody off, if he wants to do something he does it, it isn’t in his nature to do anything else.

      • Yorkshrman

        I suspect the club HAVE spent money, but spent it on signing-on fees and the highest wages in L1. Can’t believe that Kisnorbo (amongst others) chose Leeds over Championship teams because he loved the club; he’ll have got a good signing-on fee.

        Which is why I’m in the camp that thinks Beckford will stay till Summer. The bulk of a possible £1.5m+ transfer fee which Leeds MIGHT get in January could go to Beckford as an initial fee and higher wages next season.

        Not forgetting that his agent should make considerably more from the latter deal as well …..!!

  7. Henry Simms

    I really hope we can keep hold of him, atleast to the end of the season. I know money is a factor, but does it occur to anyone else that we have given Becks a spot in what remains to be the biggest club outside the prem, yet he seems to be totally ungrateful, and would leave in a flash?!

  8. matt

    It will be interesting to see how much Grella or Somma step into mix. I’m still a bit nonplussed with the decisision to sign him, and the jury is out on whether Grella can compete at a higher level than League One. There is no doubt, he has talent; Fast, skillful, and has a great finish. Reminiscent of Beckford: although i don’t think he would need as many chances to score. Somma hasn’t set the world on fire yet, so we will see how things progress with him :) Get rid of the dead wood (Showumni, Robinson, and Sheehan) and bring in Sharp and another midfielder. Someone similar to Wes Hoolahan :)

  9. Colton White

    While I do not believe Becks will go, I think Will Hoskins would be a good buy either way. I have seen him play a couple of times and have been impressed. My mate is a Watford fan and he rates him. We’d have a shot at getting him on a free as well. Although I believe he is injured at the moment. Haven’t done any research on this though so am ready to be corrected.

  10. Colton White

    “I really hope we can keep hold of him, atleast to the end of the season. I know money is a factor, but does it occur to anyone else that we have given Becks a spot in what remains to be the biggest club outside the prem, yet he seems to be totally ungrateful, and would leave in a flash?!”

    I don’t agree with this at all. Beckford was a punt from the lower leagues. Luckily for us and him, it was a successful punt. Had he not performed well, he would have been given the elbow pretty quickly. It is how football worked. Certain players have benefitted from certain things at Leeds United that allows us as a club to expect loyalty (Backing Bridges through injury, Bowyer and Woodgate through the court cases, nurturing Kewell and bringing his family over etc.) but we can not expect loyalty from every player that comes onto our books when, if they don’t perform in the way we want, we’ll be just as quick to get rid.

    Also, should Beckford decide to go, I will see it as I did Rio Ferdinand or Robbie Keane’s departure, one for the money men. I will also say to all the dumb Leeds fans (who have all changed their minds since Sunday) who like Becchio more than Beckford because he does more running around and who constantly get on his back for being “lazy” that they have got all that they deserve. Just another example of idiots who have been going to ER since childhood, adopted their fathers’ views and have never played the game.

  11. MAC (Arthur Graham & TC fan)

    some harsh words – but mostly home truths there

    Beckford – has earned his right to move on if he chooses ( very rare to have the loyalty we have from the manager and Captain – as like us they were boyhood FANS)

    Im sure SG has one or possibly two replacements lined up

    Beckford may have signed an agreement to sign in June IF Newcastle are promoted – that way hes a winner either way – but I suspect he join St James Park or a Prem club in the next few days

    Personally Id rather he went if he wants to go – and we sign a couple of sharpshooters as mentioned at the very top of this blog – if JB publicly states his loyalty and signs then great news ( we need and value his goals )

    p.s Tony Currie’s curler- that stunning 1978 Curler V Southampton at Home – does anyone have a copy of this from Fred and Martin Tylers football special ITV( Sundays ) – NOT the clipped shortened poor version on youtube ( no build up )

  12. Michael Burke

    keep becks buy billy sharp from fabs money & man utd money … championship here we come

  13. Don

    “Billy Sharp to take the next step up”?? Step up to where? He would be dropping out of the Championship (granted temporarily), from clubs where he is a) Contracted and b) playing. Not saying that it won’t happen, just not at step UP! Get your heads from up your own ar**s and enter the real world!

    • MAC (Arthur Graham & TC fan)

      a step up to;

      1. one of the top 5 prestigious clubs in British football FACT – helluva Brand

      2. to perform in front of a support & Gates that humble 95% of any other clubs despite our current league one role

      3. To play for the most promising young English manager in the game bar none


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