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Why Jermaine Beckford would crash and burn in the Premiership

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Jermaine BeckfordOver the last couple of days, Leeds striker - and League One top scorer - Jermaine Beckford has been linked with both Derby and Fulham. Showing remarkable intelligence, Beckford has said, repeatedly, that he wants to stay at Leeds. He's right - he'd be an unmitigated disaster in the Premiership.

None of which is to say that Beckford is a poor player: he's scored more goals than anyone in the league this season, which isn't something to be sniffed at. The problem is that Beckford thrives on two things: strong support from the midfield and poor defending.

Beckford doesn't really have the skill to consistently create scoring chances on his own. Given a good ball in, however, he can use his superior pace to beat defenders while avoiding offside calls - he can run in from behind the last defenders and still beat them to the ball.

League One is almost tailor-made for that kind of striker - pacey, strong, and opportunistic. With Leeds, in this season, Beckford is in his element. The Premiership, however, is a completely different proposition. Beckford is fit, but not especially so in comparison to the members of any Premiership squad (with the exception of Fulham, who generally play like they've had a colossal fry-up before kick-off). Deprived of the innate advantage in pace that he enjoys in League One, and facing vastly more skilled and intelligent defenders, Beckford's technical deficiencies would be more pronounced and he'd be largely ineffective.

All of which raises a question: if Beckford is, for the moment at least, a strong but unskillful striker, will he cut the mustard in the Championship if (when) Leeds are promoted? It'll be interesting to find out next year.

Anyone out there have an opinion?