Neil Redfearn was quoted by the BBC last month pointing out the young average age of the current Leeds United squad.
Leeds are blessed in terms of their younger players, but his comments about the youthful look of the squad suggest why the club made the right call of Rodolph Austin yesterday.
As the drama of deadline day unfolded and story after story came out about various rumours, Sky Sports reported that a fee had been agreed between Leeds and Wigan Athletic over the heavyweight midfielder.
There had been rumours of Wigan’s interest in Austin, but it looked like more of a reality that he could leave yesterday.
Leeds were quick to quash the rumour and posted a statement on the club’s website which stated that he wasn’t for sale and wasn’t going anywhere.
It was the right call because Austin gives the Leeds midfield something they don’t get from the youngsters; experience and presence.
His experience is key because it helps the younger players through difficult periods, when fans could start to get on their back.
He’s also important as a role model type figure in games which don’t start well for Leeds, with Redfearn needing him to pull the middle of the team together if the side concedes early.
His physical size and presence also offers the younger players at the club protection; he’s an imposing and intimidating man, who could put the opposition on edge if they’re thinking of targeting Lewis Cook, Sam Byram, Alex Mowatt or any other talented youngster at the club.
It’s impossible to predict what his long term future at the club might hold, but Leeds have made the right call rather than letting him leave for a side in a worse position for a fee that they wouldn’t have been able to reinvest anyway because of the transfer embargo.