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Loan Report: Jermaine Beckford

It's the last loan report of the season - it's a Jermazing one!

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Infamously infuriating striker Jermaine Beckford may already be a forgotten man at the Macron Stadium after Bolton Wanderers unsurprisingly decided not to renew the frontman's contract this summer, but we would be amiss not to take full advantage of the Loan Report and find out just how good he was at local neighbours Preston North End.

We all know the broad strokes. Neil Lennon came into the club and gave every underperforming member of the squad a clean slate and an opportunity to prove their worth, the same applied to Beckford who was given a plethora of opportunities under the Northern Irishman. Whilst the rest of the team around him improved significantly, Beckford seemed unable to reach out of the rut he was in and in November he was loaned out to Deepdale.

Under the stewardship of Simon Grayson, Beckford became a revelation down there, firing PNE to promotion a wide range of different goals and actually scoring far more in his short time at Preston than he did for the Whites.

But anyway, it's time I let the Preston fan talk! Here's Olly Dawes discussing just how monumental the impact Beckford made was:

It's rare that you see a loan player give their all for a club, especially when they only arrive in the middle of the season - but Jermaine Beckford has certainly been the exception to that particular notion.

When Beckford arrived at Preston North End in November, the idea was that he could form a devastating partnership with our talismanic striker Joe Garner; yet just days after Beckford signed for North End, Garner was ruled out for two months, leaving Beckford to foray up front on his own. It's fair to say that the lone striker role isn't really suited to Beckford, and he struggled early on at Deepdale, missing plenty of chances and frustrating fans before an ear infection kept him sidelined for over a month.

Yet, since his return from that ailment, Beckford has been nothing short of sensational. Finally paired up with Garner in attack, Beckford can't stop scoring, ending the campaign with 15 goals in his last 19 games for us on our way to promotion back to the Championship.

We've seen him score tap ins, goals of exceptional skill and even a strike from the halfway line in the play-off semi-final against Chesterfield, before bagging a hat-trick in the play-off final against Swindon Town at Wembley just last week to forever go down in Preston folklore regardless of what the future holds for the striker.

It's been something of a zero to hero story for Beckford at Deepdale after a tough start to life in Lancashire, but now the challenge facing North End is trying to keep him in Lilywhite for next season and beyond. Beckford has already been told that his contract at Bolton won't be extended when it expires this summer, and naturally, I and virtually all Preston fans are desperate to keep hold of him despite alleged interest from former club Leeds United.

The 31-year-old clearly plays his best football under North End boss Simon Grayson having worked with him previously at Leeds United and Huddersfield Town, and the best way to celebrate promotion would be to secure Beckford permanently. Wages could be a stumbling block, but at this point, most North End supporters would urge owner Trevor Hemmings to pay whatever it takes to keep Beckford at Deepdale given that he will become a free agent in the coming weeks.

The old adage is that one man's trash is another man's treasure - and that is certainly the case when it comes to Bolton, Preston and Jermaine Beckford.

No doubt he'll come back to haunt us in the Lilywhite next season.

We thank Olly very much for his time and implore you to follow him on Twitter, as he's a lovely chap: @OllyDawes.