Leon Best has completed his move to recently relegated Blackburn Rovers and has penned a four-year deal with the Lancashire club.
The fee involved is officially undisclosed although it is rumoured to be in the region of £3 million. It is another deal that Newcastle have made a profit on having signed the striker from Coventry for an undisclosed fee of around £1.5 million during our Championship season.
All in all I wish Leon Best success in the future. He scored some important goals for us and filled in after Andy Carroll left for Liverpool and whilst Demba Ba was away at the African Cup of Nations. All in all he scored 10 goals in 39 appearances for us which doesn’t sound so impressive, but when you consider the fact that he didn’t score in his first 13 (Championship) appearances and that a lot of his appearances have been as a sub it starts to look a bit better.
A willing worker who rarely causes off-field problems, Best will be tasked with trying to help fire Blackburn Rovers to promotion. He is undoubtedly a better player now than when we signed him so the drop down a division, combined with regular football he would be unlikely to get at St James’ Park could be good for him and his career.
As mentioned previously he signed from Coventry City in the January of our promotion season and failed to find the net in his 13 Championship appearances for the club. He was forced into action again when West Ham turned up at St James’ Park and was given his first Premier League start, which was marked with a stunning hat-trick. That was in January 2011 but by mid-March he suffered an injury which ruled him our for the rest of the season, which was a shame after he’d scored six goals in ten starts.
Best returned to action this season and scored both goals in a 2-1 victory against Fulham, an equaliser at Aston Villa and the winner in a 1-0 win against Queens Park Rangers. Once again though his season ended prematurely as a injury took hold again.
The most appropriate way to sum Leon Best up, for me anyway, is by wishing him nothing more than success in the future. He wasn’t a bad player for us but at the end of the day there are also better available and we should be looking to recruit those to make the step up to a higher level and increase strength in the squad.
From a transfer perspective though we now definitely need another striker as our pool is starting to look light on numbers. We have Papiss Cisse and Demba Ba, who are both likely to be playing at the African Cup of Nations later on in the season, plus Shola Ameobi. Beyond that though we are looking at youth and reserve players like Nile Ranger, who may not even be at the club for much longer, hopefully!
Anyway, thank-you Leon Best and good luck at Blackburn Rovers.