Newcastle United’s Leon Best remains a target for Celtic, a move endorsed by former Coventry City team mate, Guillame Beuzelin, who believes that the Scottish champions would be a “good fit” for the Republic of Ireland international.
Leon Best scored a hat-trick in his first Premier League start for Newcastle United in a 5 – 0 win against West Ham Utd on 5th January 2011. Since signing from Coventry City in February 2010, the striker’s appearances have been limited by injury and the form of the likes of Andy Carroll, Demba Ba and Papiss Cisse.
However, Best did play his part on last year’s magnificent season, with 21 appearances in all competitions, scoring 4 goals. His last league goal was in the 1-0 win against QPR on 15th January at St. James’ Park.
With affordable wages and a price tag of £1 million, Best could well be a bargain signing this summer.
Guillame Beuzelin played for Hibernian from 2004 – 2008 before joining Best at Coventry City for one season. In an interview with The Herald the current coach at Falkirk’s academy, and likens Best to Celtic legend John Harton (88 goals in 146 games), who also played for Coventry City, as someone who knows how to strike the ball:
“”He (Best) isn’t the quickest. But he is unbelievably strong, very good in the air, a good target man and a very good finisher too.”
Beuzelin recognises that the Scottish Premier League may not be the force of old, but believes that Celtic, with their Irish links and Champions League football on offer, is an ideal career move for Best:
“The Scottish game is not the same as it was, having a career in Scotland can be difficult now. But it could be a good fit for Leon. He plays for the Republic of Ireland, so there is a link there. He can win medals up here and experience Champions League football.”
As for staying at St. James’ Park, Beuzelin believes that Newcastle will not be able to repeat last season’s 5th place finish and that Best will struggle to get into the team.
It certainly is decision time for the striker who failed to make the cut for Euro 2012. The Irish links of Celtic may well compensate for the lack of exposure of Scottish football.
The weekend’s departure of fellow ex-Coventry City player, Alan Thompson from Celtic may serve to facilitate a bid, as the former Newcastle Academy coach had previously advised against Celtic making a move.
With the destiny of Newcastle United loan keeper, Frazer Forster, who won the league with Celtic last season, still to be decided, the coming months could well see a double swoop by the Scottish Champions.