Leeds United nostalgia: Keogh – A striker who got best out of partners

Andy Keogh.
Andy Keogh.
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The fact that Andy Keogh had two different spells at Leeds United symbolises the transition of the football club from signing potential quality, when Keogh was first bought, to signing whatever was available, as seemed the case in the Ken Bates era.

Injuries to Luciano Becchio and Davide Somma necessitated striking reinforcements, and, after Leeds had struggled to score in the early stages of the 2011-12 season, Keogh was brought back.

This is not to reflect badly upon Keogh’s quality when he did play, simply that it wasn’t a signing that set the world alight. In fact, Keogh brought the best out of Ross McCormack, who had recently been made the focal point of United’s attack. His hard running and work in the channels that season allowed McCormack to do what he does best, putting the ball in the back of the net. Few of McCormack’s striking partners at Leeds have done the same.

Keogh joined Scunthorpe after an initial stint with Leeds brought only loan spells and a single League Cup appearance. Much like his eventual job at Leeds, he helped a 19-year-old Billy Sharp score. In their first season as a duo, they scored 38 goals between them, with Keogh bagging 15. The following year the two were part of a title winning side, as Scunthorpe were promoted to the Championship. Keogh was again the enabler for Sharp, who put away 30 over the course of the season.

He forced a move to Wolves that summer by rejecting Scunthorpe’s offer of a new contract. Again, he was not prolific, but remained a key part of the side for several years, eventually playing 42 of 46 league games during Wolves’ promotion season.

Upon their promotion to the Premier League, he fell out of favour despite scoring their first goal of the season. He was loaned to Cardiff, who signed him to replace Ross McCormack on a season-long loan.

After a year there, he rejoined Leeds on a loan deal from Wolves until the new year.

Upon his return he said: “What I always wanted when I was younger was to step out and play in front of the Leeds fans.

“It’s gone full circle and I’m happy to be back.”

His finest moment in a Leeds shirt probably came against Brighton, when he put Leeds ahead early in the first half. McCormack soon put Leeds two ahead, and despite the game finishing 3-3, it was symbolic of the duo’s understanding when playing together.

Keogh fell out of the team as Becchio regained his fitness and it was no surprise that McCormack suffered in front of the net as a result, tasked with doing the hard work Keogh had done before.

Despite holding hopes of securing a permanent transfer to Leeds, Keogh returned to Wolves in January 2012 having fallen behind Becchio in the pecking order at Leeds before joining Millwall in the same window. He has since spent the last half of this season on loan at Blackpool.