Leeds United legend Andy Ritchie has had his say in the Yorkshire Evening Post on the club’s decision to keep Rodolph Austin.
Austin was tipped to move to Wigan Athletic for a fee of £500,000 on transfer deadline day earlier this week and Ritchie claims it was the right decision for Neil Redfearn to keep him.
“He’s been massively important to the team recently and he’s playing better now than he has for a while,” wrote Ritchie.
“It was common sense to keep him in the end and I don’t see the club regretting their decision, even if Austin ends up leaving on a free in the summer.”
“Taking the cash was too much of a gamble when relegation was a possibility.”
The two arguably biggest benefits that Austin provides to the Leeds first team are his physical presence and the experience he has.
Physically he’s an important player, because without him, Leeds would have a small midfield featuring players like Lewis Cook, Sam Byram, Luke Murphy and others.
He can put challenges in and impose himself on a game physically, which his teammates can’t do to the same effect.
His experience is also important considering the difficult position Leeds find themselves in.
The team are on a good run of form but they are by no means clear of danger in terms of the Championship relegation places.
Experience also helps in terms of helping the younger players in the team.
Austin is a good player to have offering advice and taking care of younger players out on the pitch during difficult periods where games may not be going according to plan for Redfearn.
It was the right decision and it’s time for the player and the club to show that.