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Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 13:55 UK

Everton sign former Leeds striker Jermaine Beckford

Jermaine Beckford
Beckford scored 85 goals in three seasons in the Leeds first-team

Everton have signed Jermaine Beckford on a four-year deal after the striker's contract at Leeds was cancelled early.

The 26-year-old had been linked with a number of clubs after his 31 goals helped Leeds gain promotion to the Championship in the 2009/10 season.

He put in a transfer request in January but when a £1.5m bid from Newcastle was rejected soon after, he came off the list before linked to Everton.

"I want to test myself at the highest level," said Beckford.

And the forward indicated that the influence of Toffees manager David Moyes played a major part in his decision to move to Goodison Park.

"I've been impressed a lot by him [Moyes]," stated Beckford. "He seems like the type of guy who will sit down and tell you where you're going wrong, what you're doing right and what you might need to work on.

606: DEBATE
Toblerone Boots

"It is a club I can learn from and it can help me develop into a better player. Fingers crossed, I can be really involved in taking this club where it wants to be."

Beckford, who began his career as a youngster at Chelsea, joined Leeds from non-League Wealdstone in March 2006 but initially struggled for first-team football and was loaned out to Carlisle and Scunthorpe during the 2006/07 campaign.

However, when the Yorkshire club were relegated from the Championship to League One, Beckford became a first-choice up front, notching 20 goals.

The Londoner followed that up with a huge 34-goal haul in 2008/09 before he bounced back from the disappointment of losing a play-off semi-final to Millwall with a near repeat goal tally this year.

And although one of those 31 goals came at Old Trafford - the winning strike in the 1-0 FA Cup third round victory against Manchester United in January - Beckford expects the step up in class to the Premier League to be a major challenge.

"I am excited by it," he added "It's going to be a test, I know that, but I am looking forward to it."



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see also
Leeds cancel Beckford's contract
28 May 10 |  Leeds
Leeds United 2-1 Bristol Rovers
08 May 10 |  League One
Pienaar targets new Everton deal
21 Apr 10 |  Everton
Grayson rules out Beckford move
23 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
Leeds' Beckford withdraws request
17 Jan 10 |  Leeds
Beckford apologises to Leeds boss
23 Dec 09 |  Leeds
Beckford taken off transfer list
17 Jul 09 |  Leeds


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