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Former Newcastle striker set to cost £11m for 16 games and 2 goals

5 years ago

Former Newcastle striker Leon Best is set to cost Blackburn Rovers £11m for a return of just 2 goals and 16 appearances.

The Republic of Ireland international left Newcastle for over £3m in July 2012 but within weeks suffered a cruciate ligament injury.

After coming back to full fitness, Best has only managed 13 Championship matches and gone out on a series of loans over the last few years.

Sheffield Wednesday were his first port of call, then last season he spent the first half of the season under Steve McClaren at Derby County, managing one goal in fifteen appearances.

The second half of the season saw things get even worse, with thirteen games for Brighton but no goals.

With finances a struggle, Blackburn came to arrangements with certain high earners who no longer were getting a game and who then left.

The Lancashire Telegraph report that they understand Blackburn have tried to do the same with Leon Best but so far with no luck, the striker set to stay for the final year of his four year contract before then being released.

The newspaper estimating that if Best does see out his Blackburn deal, he will have cost the Lancashire club around £11m, or £5.5m per goal.

Just how many Leon Bests have Newcastle got at the moment, players who have become surplus stock, some for a matter of years. The position made so much worse by Mike Ashley’s policy of giving overly long contracts to everybody from kids right up to new signings.

I make the list of players who Newcastle would happily let go as including Gael Bigirimana, Sylvain Marveaux, Shane Ferguson, Vurnon Anita and Gabriel Obertan for starters, whilst I wouldn’t be surprised if they wouldn’t stand in the way of one or two of our three senior centre-backs if they asked for the exit door.

Mike Ashley having already ‘succeeded’ in getting Hatem Ben Arfa, Jonas Gutierrez, Davide Santon, Ryan Taylor and Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa off the wage bill.

Leon Best only started 25 Premier League matches for Newcastle but actually scored a more than respectable 10 goals in the top tier, after initially disappointing in the Championship.

The striker actually playing a decent supporting role in that 2011/12 season when United finished fifth, before Papiss Cisse’s arrival midway through the campaign.

Sadly, you have to question whether somebody such as Leon Best could have managed to do as badly as Emmanuel Riviere last season.


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