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ALBION SIGN BEST

20 January 2015


Brighton & Hove Albion have completed the signing of Leon Best on a half-season loan from Blackburn Rovers – and the 28-year-old striker is available for tomorrow's game against Ipswich Town.
 

Best signed for the club this morning – after passing a medical at the American Express Elite Football Performance Centre – and then trained with his new teammates.
 
Manager Chris Hughton told seagulls.co.uk, "I know Leon very well, having signed him during my time at Newcastle and I am delighted to have him here.
 
"He is a strong, physical presence, he knows the Championship and knows the position we are in. We wanted new faces, to freshen up the squad, and Leon will add competition alongside our existing strikers.
 
"I signed him previously at Newcastle. I know he can be a very good player and he did very well for me both in the Championship and Premier League. He also had a very good spell with Newcastle after I left the club.
 
"He had a good spell on loan with Sheffield Wednesday in the Championship last season, where he did very well for them, and scored a few goals to help them away from trouble.
 
"His time at Derby in the first half of the season didn't work as well as it might have done, but you look at the form of their team, and in particular Chris Martin’s goals, and you can see why opportunities were limited.
 
"I am very pleased he is here, he gives us another attacking option and I hope he can produce the same form he did for me when we worked together at Newcastle."

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Nottingham-born Best began his football career as a junior at Notts County, before signing as a trainee at Southampton.
 
He made 19 appearances for Saints over the course of three years - but much of that time was spent on loan, as he had spells at Queens Park Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday (twice), Bournemouth and Yeovil Town.
 
After joining Coventry City permanently in 2007, Best left the Sky Blues after two-and-a-half years for Newcastle United. He scored ten goals in 46 games including a Premier League hat-trick against West Ham in January 2011.
 
Blackburn paid £3million for him in the summer of 2012 but an anterior cruciate ligament injury ruled him out for the majority of his first season.
 
After starting the 2013/14 with Rovers, Best found first-team opportunities limited and joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan for the third time in his career.
 
He scored five times in 16 games for the Owls including the late winner against Albion in March last year at Hillsborough.
 
Blackburn once again allowed the forward out on loan at the start of this season as he joined Derby County on a season-long deal and made 15 substitute appearances for the Rams.
 
Best will wear squad number 19 for Albion, and due to his FA Cup appearance for Derby, is cup-tied for Sunday’s game against Arsenal.

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V IPSWICH

WEDNESDAY 21ST JANUARY, KICK-OFF 7.45PM


ALBION V ARSENAL

SUNDAY 25TH JANUARY, KICK-OFF 4PM



ALBION V NOTTINGHAM FOREST

SATURDAY 7TH FEBRUARY, KICK-OFF 3PM




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