Rotherham United: Redfearn delight as Millers win Best battle

Leon Best
Leon Best
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Rotherham United fought off competition from other clubs to land former Premier League striker Leon Best.

The 29-year-old centre-forward has joined the Championship Millers until the end of the season after a successful trial.

Manager Neil Redfearn said: “His ability is without question. There were a lot of clubs interested in him, so we have beaten off a lot of good sides to secure his signature.”

“He has undoubted quality. He has played at the highest level and there are still plenty of years left in him.”

Best, who played in the Championship last season with Derby County and Brighton, appeared in the top flight for Newcastle United earlier in his career.

He is a Republic of Ireland international with an extensive background in the second tier.

Neil Redfearn

Neil Redfearn

“He gives the team some much-needed experience and a physical presence up front,” Redfearn added.

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“He is someone who can lead the line for us, and it will help the strikers who will play up there with him.

“We have been looking at where he is at fitness wise but he has obviously looked after himself really well.

“He is a strong lad with great physical presence, which is something we have been missing.”

Nottingham-born Best, who started out at Southampton, scored 10 goals in 31 league starts for the Magpies.

His other clubs include Coventry, Blackburn and Sheffield Wednesday.

He had been training with the Millers since the beginning of last week and had featured in a behind-closed-doors practice match. Two other ex-Premier League players, right-back Stephen Kelly, 32, and attacking midfielder Stephen Hunt, are also on trial with Rotherham during the international break.

Brandon Barker

Brandon Barker

Best is Redfearn’s first full signing after five weeks in the Millers hot-seat, although full-back Harry Toffolo and winger Brandon Barker have already arrived on loan from Norwich City and Manchester City respectively.

Barker is back with the Millers - who return to league action at Leeds, now managed by ex-Rotherham boss Steve Evans, on Saturday- after being on duty with England Under-20s in France.

He played 23 minutes as a substitute last Wednesday in a 4-3 defeat against France U-20s, but the second game, scheduled for last Saturday, was cancelled because of the Paris terror attacks.