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Leeds United set to win battle for Forest striker

Dexter Blackstock set to snub Brighton in favour of Leeds interest.

Leeds United are set to beat Brighton in the race to sign former Southampton striker Dexter Blackstock, report the Yorkshire Post.

The 27-year-old striker has been frustrated by lack of chances at the City Ground this season and could now join promotion chasing rivals Leeds United. He has found himself behind Mackie, Henderson, Cox and Derbyshire in the City Ground hierarchy, despite the misfiring frontline being at the front of much criticism from the reds supporters.

Brighton initially looked set to sign the Antigua and Barbuda international to fill the void left by the injured by towering Argentinian striker Leonardo Ulloa, who will be out through injury until around the festive period. However, it seems Brian McDermott has not let the opportunity slip by him and put his name in the hat and looks to won the race.

What can Leeds expect from Dexter Blackstock?

He came through the Oxford United youth system and Southampton decided to pay nearly 300k for his services as a teenager. In 2004 due to an injury crisis he was thrown into the first team and scored a League Cup hat-trick against Colchester United. He went onto establish himself in the squad at Southampton and quickly became a highly-rated young player making appearances for England under 19s and England under 21s.

He had ‘development’ loans at both Plymouth and Derby where he made an impact scoring 7 goals in 23 games, which were at championship level and still in his youth he was touted as one of the most promising players in the country.

He went back to Southampton and made 19 appearances during their first season in the Championship, scoring 3 goals.

Blackstock signed for QPR under Neil Warnock for half-a-million pound and was initially shuned by supporters replacing crowd favourite Gary Waddock. He was quick to prove any doubters wrong and soon became a key player for the R’s. In his first season he finished runner-up for the player of the season award and the clubs top goal scorer. After a pretty sour second season at QPR which saw him score just 6 goals, he came back to form in the 2008/2009 season scoring 12 goals in all competitions by the end of January.

He was signed by Nottingham Forest until the end of the season on loan initially to boost their survival chances and he did just that. The next season he was signed permanently by manager Billy Davies and was instrumental in their play-off finish but since then it has been an injury infested and a slightly inspiring record which has eventually seen him knocked down in the pecking order.

He will want to revitalise his career in Yorkshire and will look at this opportunity with the chance of perhaps signing a permanent deal when the January window opens. Leeds have got themselves a player with a championship track record that will come in with a lot of experience and a lot of know-how to aid their promotion push.

What do you think Leeds and Forest fans? Happy should he have been given a chance at the City Ground and will he help Leeds kick on?

image: © Chris Robertshaw

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