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Billy Kee: why Burton Albion were right to sell their star striker

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: August 19, 2014

By Tom Sloan

ON HIS WAY ... striker Billy Kee has left the Brewers for LeagueOne side Scunthorpe United.

ON HIS WAY ... striker Billy Kee has left the Brewers for LeagueOne side Scunthorpe United.

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NO player is ever irreplaceable – even the best of them.

There is always someone who can come in and do the same job as the departed star – or better.

But it is safe to say the sale of Billy Kee to Scunthorpe has come as a big shock to many Burton Albion fans.

There is something of a Roy of the Rovers about the striker, who etched himself into Brewers folklore with that hat-trick at Barnet almost three years ago.

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And he kept on scoring goals.

Kee's record for the Brewers is impressive.

He made 99 league appearances, 70 of them starts, and scored 39 goals, many of them crackers.

In all competitions he made 117 appearances, scoring 42 times.

However, despite these naked statistics, Kee has fallen down the pecking order at the Pirelli Stadium.

Gary Rowett wants a mobile, athletic striking force – and this is not really Kee.

He is an old-fashioned goalscorer and at League Two level is very good at it.

There's also no reason why he can't do it in League One with Scunthorpe. Rowett, though, demands more than this and in Stuart Beavon, the Albion manager has what he feels is the complete striker for this division.

There is a sense he has moved on a touch from having a 'fox in the box' type of player, who plays best alongside a target man.

However, scoring goals is the hardest thing to do in football and as Kee showed on Saturday, he can turn a game in a split second.

Without him, Albion would surely have struggled to beat Dagenham and Redbridge in the dying minutes.

Despite this, it was difficult to see the 23-year-old being the first choice striker at the Pirelli – something he craves.

Injuries, though no fault of his own, have not helped his cause either.

The past three pre-seasons have seen Kee battling back to fitness rather than building up a reserve of stamina for the season.

It is the worst time to be injured.

In the last year of his contract, it was likely he would walk away for free in the summer after a season spent in and out of the starting line-up.

While he will be difficult to replace, it was probably the correct decision from the club as they look at the long-term future.

The money raised by the sale can be used to bring in another striker who fits the mould Rowett has created and Kee, although a very decent forward, did not quite fit in 2014 the way he did in 2011.

Will it be the right decision for the club to sell Kee? Only time will tell.

For Kee, it is a great opportunity to step up a level and get a fresh start at a club looking to find its feet in League One. Don't bet against him appearing on the goalscoring charts very soon.

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