Newcastle manager Alan Pardew has said some good things about Leon Best today, after the 25 year-old signed on at Blackburn Rovers for a fee reported to be around £3M.
Leon Best – scores the winner against QPR last season
We thought Leon Best was a decent player for Newcastle, and he really stepped up to the plate brilliantly for Newcastle after Andy Carroll left for Liverpool.
In those first four months of 2011, Leon scored a great 6 goals in 12 appearances for the Magpies, in our first season back in the top flight, and that ensured we remained out of any relegation trouble that season.
So we’ll always thank Leon for that, and we have a feeling he’ll do just great at Blackburn – we hope he does in any case.
Alan Pardew is nothing if not a straight arrow, and the Newcastle manager has admitted that it was best for Best to leave Newcastle (sorry about that one), for the sake of his career.
Alan Pardew had this to say to the Shields Gazette today.
“Leon did a great job for me.” “But the thing about Leon is that he needed regular first-team football.” “You can only play a role where you’re in and out of the team for so long.”
“I felt it was right for him, and everybody concerned, that he moved on.” “He’s found himself a club where he’ll be playing in the first team, and we all wish him the best of luck.”
Best worked with Blackburn manager Steve Kean at his former club Coventry, so that should help, and there are reports that Rovers are paying him handsomely on a four year deal at Ewood Park, so that gives the lad some security and stability.
We know some Blackburn fans think £3M is probably a little too much to pay, but the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we’ll just have to wait and see how Leon does for them next season.
And Blackburn seemed determined to come straight back up, and they have also signed Danny Murphy and Nuno Gomes from Fulham, so we wish the club, who won the Premier League in 1995, all the best for the coming season.
Leon is a great gut too, and he says he’s loved his time on Tyneside:
“I loved my time at Newcastle, but there was also a lot of disappointment there.” “Last season, I got a lot of assists alongside Demba Ba, and a few goals myself.
“No matter what you do, you still find yourself sitting on the bench.” “I love playing games, and when you are sat on the bench, it’s not nice. I’ve never had a good run.”
“Either injuries have hit, other strikers have come in or the boss hasn’t given me a chance.”
We’ll be following Leon and Blackburn next season, and for the sake of the great Blackburn fans, we really hope they can come straight back up – that’s the least they deserve after the trials and tribulations of the last 18 months..