Former Everton striker Jermaine Beckford has explained the reasons behind his Goodison Park departure for Leicester City in 2011, as told to the Liverpool Echo.
Beckford’s move to Leicester eight-years ago saw the striker return to the Championship having spent just a single season with Everton, having joined the Toffees on a four-year deal (BBC) following his release by Leeds United.
His transfer to the Foxes saw Everton land up to £4million (BBC), after rejecting offers in the region of £3m from the East Midlands outfit and reports of interest from Fulham to the tune of £3.5million (Goal).
London-born Beckford’s move to Leicester did not return a great future, though, as he would be offloaded to Huddersfield Town on loan in 2012, before being sold to Bolton shortly after his return (TransferMarkt).
With Everton, though, he enjoyed a moment of magic as he marked his tenth goal for the Merseyside outfit across all competitions, when he lifted the ball over Frank Lampard’s out-stretched leg, tapped it around John Terry and darted free toward Chelsea’s goal, where he chipped the ball over Petr Cech to break the deadlock.
Weeks later he was sold to Leicester, and Beckford has now explained why he felt he had to leave Goodison Park, having featured in all bar six league games during his season at the club (TransferMarkt).
“I’ll be honest, I wanted to stay [at Everton] longer but it was the minutes,” he told the Liverpool Echo. “I’m a football fan. I love to watch football and play football. I wasn’t asking to play every single game, but I was asking to play a few more minutes than I had done previously.
“When I was at Leeds, I played around 50 games that season, starting. Then I came to Everton, a completely different team, manager, everything, and I played around half of that.
“I had the bug to play and was told I wasn’t necessarily going to play as many minutes as I had done that season. I had a very, very difficult decision to make and it’s one I always look back on and think I should have stayed.”
Had Beckford stayed at Everton and fought for his place under David Moyes, he would have been competing for minutes with Victor Anichebe, Louis Saha, Apostolos Vellios, Magaye Gueye and summer signing Denis Stracqualursi, while Nikica Jelavic was acquired in the following winter, so the chances of the former Jamaica international playing more frequently would have been slim.
But only Jelavic proved to be a prolific scorer for the Toffees that season, with the Croatian the only man to hit double figures in the top-flight in Royal Blue despite his mid-season arrival at Goodison Park.
If Beckford had stayed and was able to replicate his goal against Chelsea, then Moyes may have been left with no choice but to entrust him more, but his form for Leicester – nine goals in 39 Championship games (TransferMarkt) – suggests that would not have been the case, and selling him for £4million was the right decision for all.
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