Jonny Howson Back to Leeds United, But NOT Jermaine Beckford – by Rob Atkinson

Leeds United v Bristol Rovers

Jermaine and Jonny during THAT Bristol Rovers game

A headline this morning screams that Leeds United should bring Jonny Howson and Jermaine Beckford, the two League One promotion goal heroes, back to Elland Road. As pre-transfer window speculative press advice goes, it’s nearer the mark than 90% of the rubbish out there – but it’s still only half right at best.

Judged on their merits, the two cases are miles apart. Howson is still the real deal, coming up to his 29th birthday, a mature goal-scoring midfielder who has performed creditably in the Premier League. He thrived at Leeds before the environment around LS11 turned toxic, at which time his best move was out. If he’s now available to bring back into the fold, it would be a very good option for a United midfield sorely in need of top-level experience and the kind of commitment that comes with a player who is also a fan.

Beckford, on the other hand, shows all the signs of having put the best of his playing career far behind him. I still believe that he should have given himself a chance of securing a second successive promotion with Leeds United, after helping get the club out of League One in 2010. Obviously, there were compelling financial reasons for his move to Everton, and he did make a mark of sorts at Goodison Park. But thereafter, it’s been a case of each successive move leading to a diminution of his reputation, and the signals have always been there that he left his heart and soul behind at Elland Road – he’s perhaps the opposition player best known for his ongoing rapport with our crowd, complete with Leeds salute. I can’t help thinking that he has his regrets, but realistically he’s not a viable option for a United squad on the way up (we hope). The rule of thumb here is, since he’s been released by Preston, there’s not too much – sadly – that he can now offer to Leeds United.

Many more names will be bandied about over the coming weeks, some of them formerly of this parish, and many more who might be new and exciting additions to the club. But if I could have one choice for a player to return, I wouldn’t look much further (with the honourable exception of Rob Snodgrass) than Jonny Howson, who I feel really could add that winning spark to next years United squad.


16 responses to “Jonny Howson Back to Leeds United, But NOT Jermaine Beckford – by Rob Atkinson

  1. I would have Howson back in a breath, he was exactly the kind of player Leeds needed this year to push them over the line and win a playoff, although Beckford has gone down in Leeds United folklore, especially with the renaming of a stand at Old Trafford, as you say Rob, sadly, he doesn’t have much to offer Leeds United these days..


  2. Philip of Spain.

    Bang on Rob.


  3. I’d definitely have Howson back tomorrow, because he’s experienced, creates chances, isn’t afraid to have a shot and gets forward into the box to score goals.
    Leeds central midfield area has to be changed, if Leeds want to get into the top three next season, because people like Bridcutt, hardly ever get over the half way line.
    Murphy and Diagouraga might have got a few goals, if they had not been frozen out, when people like Grimes, were still part of the squad, even though he was a lightweight and not good enough.
    Like you say, Beckford seems to have faded in form, since he left Everton and has never been a consistent goalscorer, over the last few seasons and I would be looking for a better striker than Beckford, for next season, even if it’s as a squad player.


  4. Mike Durham

    Good shout Rob ; he’d also be fabulous for the ongoing development of Viera and Phillips!


  5. Perhaps those who want Beckford back would like to team him up with Becchio again. Both will never recover their previous form for us at a time when we need to crack on to the next level.


  6. Would absolutely love to see Jonny Howson back in a Leeds shirt.
    As for Jermaine Beckford, his might be a return that would please the fans but I doubt it would have much influence on our place in the League table.
    To have a serious tilt at promotion I feel we should set our sights higher than Championship players past their best, or “prospects” from League 1and 2. Sure, it’s going to cost money but we have tried and failed with getting promotion on the cheap. You know what they say, speculate to accumulate.
    The early signs do at least look promising, and the recent announcements about senior appointments at the club suggest the new regime may possess a little more ambition than their predecessors. Time will tell.
    Over to you Signor Radrizzani.


  7. Peter duval

    Johnny Howson would be a good addition to a promotion chasing squad but you supporters who believe he can turn us into automatic promotion candidates are deluded- for me – The type of player we need is Charlie Adam a different level to Howson , possibly Howson to compete with Vieria to play alongside Adam or someone of that class- in summary he is better than Bridcutt , Phillips and OKane but he’s not a Shelvey, Mooy, Delph or Adam


  8. Manston White

    Right about Beckford. Would be nice to get Lennon and Gradle back as well lol


  9. Max Gradel


  10. It’s hard to see where Howson would fit in. He does not have the game making abilities of a Snodgrass, say, nor does he seem a better bet going forward than Roofe with whom he would be in direct competition for a place in the starting line-up (and next season we just have to make better use of Roofe for whom we paid 3 million).


  11. NickB(50yrsLU)

    Well, let’s get Kilkenny and Johnson back as well shall we ?! Seriously, neither Howson nor Becchio wanted to leave but were forced out by the owner (Becchio had to suffer humiliation from Warnock before he went). They were very loyal to Leeds and I hated the way they were turned on by a large section of the fans as supposedly greedy glory-seekers. Beckford went more willingly, and clearly is frustrated because he knows he’s on the way down. Yes, I too miss Snoddy’s skills and doggedness, but he’ll not be back. I wouldn’t mind our latter-day Madeley, James Milner returning once he’s had enough of wearing a red shirt. Whilst it’s fun trying to turn the clock to better times, I can only focus on the next two weeks right now, and the hope that we will just have one, honest Italian owner by then. I’m hoping we’ll have sorted out owner, manager and a few quality players before the play-offs are over, so we beat the three staying down to the best talent. Coming seventh could have its advantages, if the ownership is canny.


  12. Marky Buckets

    Have you boys got a spare £12m? I can’t even see our interest being captured until the stench of 10 million notes hits the cooks nostrils….otherwise Prem clubs would nabbed him when we first went down.


  13. Karl Major

    On this topic I disagree, for me Howson was always a yard short of a tackle and while he offered a bit going forward he could never dominate the midfield. If he’s that good why is he not signed up by Norwich for another 3 years??
    We should sign better if we want to have a real go next term. Don’t know who though.


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