By Adam Walker
Luciano Becchio last week handed in a transfer request as many of you will be aware. For the fans this is horrific news, I haven't been a 'Becchio believer' in the past but there is no denying he has been our greatest asset this season. He is slow, not very good with his feet and not the man who holds up the ball everybody thinks he is. I am of the belief that Becchio is a terrible football player, however he seems to get the goals we need and that's why he needs to stay.
After doing a little bit of maths I have discovered that Becchio has made a dramatic impact this season. I have looked at the goals he has scored and examined how they have helped us get into the position we are in at the moment, which is obviously still quite disappointing. Becchio has scored fourteen key goals this season and by that I mean, goals which have changed our points tally, either by getting us draws or wins. The list of key goals is as follows:
Leeds United 1-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Becchio x1) - 2 points gained by Becchio
Peterborough United 1-2 Leeds United (x2 Becchio) - 3 points gained by Becchio
Leeds United 3-3 Blackburn Rovers (x1 Becchio) - 1 point gained by Becchio
Leeds United 2-1 Nottingham Forest (x1 Becchio) - 2 points gained by Becchio
Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Leeds United (x1 Becchio) - 1 point gained by Becchio
Leeds United 1-0 Barnsley (x1 Becchio) - 2 points gained by Becchio
Leeds United 2-1 Crystal Palace (x1 Becchio) - 2 points gained by Becchio
Leeds United 1-0 Leicester City (x1 Becchio) - 2 points gained by Becchio
Huddersfield Town 2-4 Leeds United (x2 Becchio) - 2 points gained by Becchio
Leeds United 2-1 Middlesbrough (x2 Becchio) - 3 points gained by Becchio
Leeds United 1-0 Bolton Wanderers (x1 Becchio) - 2 points gained by Becchio
So the maths on that is 14 key goals that have earned us points and a total of 22 points earned through his goals. Now, with that in mind we should turn our attention to the league table. Leeds United currently have 41 points, take away the 22 points that have been earned by Becchio and you end up with 19 points, which puts us at the bottom of the league, 10 points from safety. Along with his 14 key goals in the league he has also scored another goal in the league which came against Hull City meaning he has scored 15 in the league. Take 15 away from our appalling -5 goal difference and you are left with -19 as our goal difference. Now, I don't know if anyone who has been in contract talks with Becchio has worked any of this out but I hope they do. After they work this out they will realise how priceless he is to the club, the team and the fans.
I don't blame Becchio for wanting to leave. Like Snodgrass in the summer, he has been kept in handcuffs at Leeds United. Luciano and fans alike have been promised progression by the directors of Leeds United. A promise that has taken a while to be fulfilled and is yet to be dealt with. Becchio obviously wants to play at a higher level before he retires. He is also after more money, who isn't? I have been told that Chris Wood at Leicester is on £40,000 a week, I wish we could offer contracts like that. I was speaking to a friend recently and we were discussing how much we would be willing to pay Becchio. With the contribution he puts in I would give him whatever he asks for. This is a player we cannot replace, he is simply irreplaceable. We have been told that the bids have come from foreign clubs. I wouldn't be surprised if he was on his way to Italy or Spain, maybe even Celtic to replace Gary Hooper? I wouldn't be surprised either if the bid came from his homeland back in Argentina. As he is getting older he may want to settle down in Argentina and end his career there. If he does leave, he will be sorely missed but I for one won't hold a grudge. He has been a loyal servant and he deserves better than this.
Thanks for reading, feel free to comment on your opinions and favourite memories of Becchio.