It was announced last week that a fee has been agreed between Bolton Wanderers and Leicester City for striker Jermaine Beckford. Reportedly £1m is enough to pry away the former Wealdstone, Leeds, Everton and Leicester striker and it has not been confirmed that Beckford is officially a Bolton Wanderers player.
Bolton based Beckford is due for a medical next week with the last few details being finalised on his contract. He was one of the highest earners at the King Power Stadium and would need to take a pay cut to join the Wanderers on a two-year deal. But is this money well spent for the man who scored that iconic goal at Old Trafford three years ago?
Bolton have a problem upfront. We haven't had a 20-goal-scorer since Michael Ricketts (2000-2003). The likes of Johan Elmander and more recently Marvin Sordell have failed to replicate those heights. Even Nicolas Anelka, for all his skill, wasn't a prolific scorer at the Reebok. Last season the team had to look to the midfield for goals. Winger Chris Eagles lead the club with 12.
With Beckford's arrival imminent I've been wondering, is this money well spent? He hasn't produced the goals that were projected when he was a hot prospect at Elland Road, although he did manage eight goals in 21 league appearances on loan for Huddersfield Town last year. Dougie knows Jermaine's abilities after playing with him in the latter stages of his career for Leeds but Beckford's stats aren't overly impressive and he's not a young player at 29.
Personally, I'm skeptical. Money doesn't lie and there has to be a reason that Leicester have sold him for less than half what they paid for him on deadline day in 2011 (£2.5m). He fell down the pecking order, mainly due to the arrival of Chris Wood, but that can't be all.
In the 10 years he's been a professional Beckford's bagged 162 league goals in 336 games. In 2008-2009 Beckford had his most successful season scoring 27 goals in 34 appearances for Leeds. Despite these impressive figures, Beckford failed to make his mark in the Premier League with Everton or in the Championship with Leicester. He scored only 9 goals in 39 games during his debut season for the Foxes.
I'd much rather see our current and fairly new strike force given another chance to shine next year. Especially fun to watch will be the introduction of Tom Eaves, who deserves a run in the team after successful loans with Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town.
Another big question; Would Jermaine's arrival result in another striker departing? Many Bolton fans could argue that we've not seen the best of Marvin Sordell yet. The question, 'Is Marvin's time up at Wanderers?' was asked on this very blog a few months ago. The Bolton faithful voted, and a majority (54%) felt that he needed another run in the team. Will Jermaine's arrival stop Sordell's progress or bring the very best out of him?
I hope that Dougie proves me and many other Wanderers fans wrong. If this deal goes through I'd love to see Jermaine come out and silence his critics. Dougie has already demonstrated that he has an eye for a bargain in Craig Davies and Medo Kamara. We just have to hope that Beckford can re-find his early Leeds form and finally solve our problems up-front.