Leon Best is to undergo an ankle operation today and will miss the rest of the season. What number will he be wearing next season on his return? Best consulted the club's medical staff and it was decided he should travel to London for the operation. Best, who has made 11 appearances in total this season, netted a hat-trick against West Ham on January 5 and also scored in the dramatic 4-4 draw with Arsenal and the 2-0 win at Birmingham. He was given his chance after the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool as Alan Pardew looks for the next striker to fill the famous Number Nine shirt. But the odds are against the former Coventry City player, as Pardew will look for a "top class international striker" in the summer transfer window.