x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Former captain tells Beckford that move may ruin his career

There are established Premier League strikers who will go through their careers without scoring at Old Trafford or White Hart Lane.

There are established Premier League strikers who will go through their careers without scoring at Old Trafford or White Hart Lane. Jermaine Beckford has managed to achieve both in one season and with Leeds United, a side in the third tier of English football.

Having knocked Manchester United out in the third round of the FA Cup, Beckford then coolly dispatched an injury-time penalty to bring Tottenham Hotspur back to Elland Road for a replay tonight that will produce a fifth-round meeting with Bolton should they pull off another shock result. Beckford, who has scored 24 goals this term, could be playing against these sides next season should a move to Everton be confirmed when his contract with Leeds ends this summer.

But the grass is not always greener elsewhere as Robbie Keane, the Tottenham striker, can testify. He completed a loan transfer to Celtic on Monday - his third move in two years and seventh since starting his career at Wolves in 1997. The Irishman, who has cost £70.3 million (Dh412m) in combined transfer fees, had an unsettled year at Elland Road in 2001. The rotation system proved a problem for Keane, and Brendan Ormsby, a former Leeds captain, said that should serve as a warning to Beckford.

"At Leeds, Jermaine is the top man. If he leaves for a Premier League team, I don't think that will be the case," he said. "He is a quality finisher at this level, but his all-round game needs work and maybe his attitude, too. I don't think he will enjoy being on the bench or in the reserves, just like Robbie at Spurs. "I'm surprised Robbie has ended up at Celtic, because, for me, he is one of the most intelligent strikers around and should be in the Premier League.

"You have to ask why he left Spurs for Liverpool two years ago when he was the first choice there and playing his best football. It has not worked out for him since and Jermaine should look at something like that and think about staying at Leeds. "If he gets them promoted, I don't think there will be a bigger club in the Championship and he can carry on being their big star. He might regret leaving."

Ormsby was part of Aston Villa's European Cup-winning squad in 1982 but joined Leeds in the Second Division and led them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup in 1987 after a remarkable run. A 3-2 defeat to eventual winners Coventry in extra-time denied them a Wembley showdown with Spurs. "It would be great to see Leeds go far this time," added Ormsby, who was at the club when the current manager Simon Grayson started out as a player. "But promotion is the priority for Simon and he will have to make sure his players do not just raise their game for the cup ties."

They can do that tonight and Beckford will relish taking on a Spurs defence without the influential Ledley King. Harry Redknapp was surprised the centre-back managed to face Fulham and Birmingham in successive league games. "It must have been a week where it felt easier, but his knee is not going to improve," said the manager of his captain akhan@thenational.ae Leeds v Spurs, 11.45pm, Aljazeera +3