Sharp v Beckford, who should Leeds United go after?

There have been rumblings that Leeds United will make a summer bid for Southampton striker Billy Sharp.

Billy Sharp is not going to be playing Premier League football any time soon, which seems to have grabbed the attention of Brian McDermott who is reportedly considering a summer offer for the striker.

Sharp is a player who has plenty of football league experience and he could find the prospect of playing in a promotion chasing side very tempting, considering he’s only appeared in the Premier League twice as a sub this campaign.

It’s an interesting story because it creates a big dilemma for Leeds over whether to go for Sharp, who could be relatively easy to sign from a big side, or former player Jermaine Beckford, harder to sign from a lower profile side.

They are both on the same length of contract, with each expiring in the summer of 2015 so Leeds have two attacking targets but more than likely only the funds to go after one of them.

Sharp has had a far more productive season in terms of his stats with ten goals and eight assists all season while on loan at Nottingham Forest.

Beckford has bagged just eight goals for Huddersfield Town, but he will be the more popular choice with Leeds fans considering the impact he had during his first spell with the club.

Beckford would also enjoy a similar sort of profile to the one he experienced when he was at the club before. That was literally being the main man, something which has come under doubt since the loan deal for James Vaughan at that club.

In terms of age Sharp has a two-year edge which probably suggests he has a little more to give in terms of energy and fitness, although Beckford still looks as quick as he ever has been as a striker.

So it’s a contrast between the reliability, consistency and the numbers which Sharp guarantees over the more popular signing of Beckford.

McDermott is a very clever and shrewd manager, which more than likely makes the Sharp deal a more appealing one to him as the team’s boss.

Southampton probably wouldn’t have a problem with Leeds going in, talking to their player and trying to put a deal on the table because Mauricio Pochettino is just going to loan him out again if he doesn’t go permanently.

Huddersfield will not be so willing to make things easy for local rivals Leeds because Beckford is a key player, tied down to them for the next couple of years.

They will have aspirations to consolidate as a Championship club, which is something they cannot do if they start selling off their best players.

Sharp or Beckford, who do you want to see Leeds go after?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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