Unsurprisingly, speculation is circling Bramall Lane concerning the future of their prized asset, record signing James Beattie. Striker Beattie’s form has led to speculation of interest in the former Everton man from Premiership clubs, and in turn has led to Kevin Blackwell reportedly putting a Â£8m prize tag on Beattie – double the club record fee they paid to persuade the former England international to make the move from Merseyside in August last year.
Beattie for England?: 21 goals so far
Despite the ambitious outlay and undoubtedly bumper wage packet that Kevin McCabe invested when sanctioning former manager Bryan Robson’s wish of ending Beattie’s unhappy time at Everton, there can be little doubt that the signing has proven to be one of the best in recent history at Bramall Lane. Such is Beattie’s influence at United, he has scored 21 goals in a season blighted by injury, and his nearest challenger for Blades’ top scorer is his strike partner Billy Sharp, with 4 league goals. In fact, before Sharp’s goal against Burnley at the weekend, he had taken 9 months to score the same number of goals that Beattie scored in 9 minutes against Leicester City (3).
The good news for Blades fans, who were so impressed by his performance at Turf Moor they vocally suggested Beattie should be in Fabio Capello’s England thinking, is that Beattie has placed on record his commitment to Sheffield United and in person, through an imposing and confident personality, a sense of honesty is obvious. If Beattie can continue to enjoy his football again, and fires United back into the top flight in the process, then no doubt McCabe will consider his formidable investment as money well spent for all concerned.
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