Beck­ford to hit the big time be­fore Leeds

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - GOODHANGOUTS -

LEEDS chair­man Ken Bates has re­vealed that a bid of £1.8 mil­lion for striker Jer­maine Beck­ford from New­cas­tle was re­jected be­fore his FA Cup hero­ics.

Bates’ club stood firm even though Beck­ford will be able to leave El­land Road for noth­ing at the end of the sea­son and the player had handed in a trans­fer re­quest to force through a move to the Cham­pi­onship leaders New­cas­tle.

De­spite the tempt­ing of­fer, the for­mer Chelsea chair­man left the fi­nal de­ci­sion over Beck­ford to Leeds man­ager Si­mon Grayson, whose stub­born stance was vin­di­cated when the player with­drew his trans­fer re­quest and then scored twice in the 2-2 draw at Tot­ten­ham.

Beck­ford is 26 and was a late­comer to pro­fes­sional foot­ball, only join­ing the York­shire club in the sum­mer of 2005 hav­ing played in the non-league with Weald­stone. He has only known tough times with Leeds, miss­ing out on their glory years in the Cham­pi­ons League, in­stead ob­serv­ing their col­lapse into fi­nan­cial prob­lems and rel­e­ga­tion into League One.

Play­ing like this un­der Grayson, how­ever, they should reach the Cham­pi­onship in May and pos­si­bly the Premier League in 2011.

Beck­ford is likely to get there a lit­tle bit sooner.

In the space of three weeks, Beck­ford has scored the winning goal, in the third round, at Old Traf­ford against Manch­ester United, and scored both goals against Spurs.

His first strike, at White Hart Lane was a clas­sic poacher's ef­fort, re­act­ing quick­est to squeeze the ball un­der Heurelho Gomes from six yards while his penalty was con­fi­dence per­son­i­fied. He was clearly not both­ered by the pres­sure of the sit­u­a­tion

In be­tween all this, he has put in a trans­fer re­quest, re­tracted it, and has re­port­edly been lined up to join Ever­ton on a free trans­fer in the sum­mer, when he is out of con­tract.

You could say it has been an event­ful month for the Lon­doner. – The Tele­graph and The In­de­pen­dent

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