If Leeds signed Joey Barton, they'd be filling the void left by Rudy Austin

Joey Barton Marseille

The former Queens Park Rangers would fill a void for Leeds.

The news that QPR were releasing Joey Barton was received particularly well by Leeds United fans on Wednesday afternoon.

Barton was linked with a move to Leeds by the Daily Star earlier this summer and bookmakers Ladbrokes rate the midfielder's chances of an Elland Road move at 12/1.

It's as of yet unclear whether the 32-year-old would be a current target for the Yorkshire side - but, if he was, the ex-QPR man would fill a very specific void for the Whites.

Indeed, Barton would be the perfect replacement for Rodolph Austin, another midfielder who divides opinion that gave United a certain presence in the middle of the park.

 2014/15 InterceptionsTacklesAppearancesMinutes Played
Lewis Cook 72 57 37 2,952
Tommaso Bianchi 49 69 24 1,965
Rodolph Austin 48 62 30 2,249
Joey Barton 46 52 28 2,351
Alex Mowatt 44 43 38 3,054

As Opta stats show, Barton had a very similar rate of interceptions and tackles won to the Leeds midfielder last season (both have since been released), winning more interceptions than any United star except for Austin, Lewis Cook or Tommaso Bianchi.

What's interesting to note, of course, is that Barton was achieving his figures at a higher level in the Premier League.

Barton, though, can obviously boil over a bit too much on the tackling front. His disciplinary record is appalling and the controversy that comes with any such signing would be the last thing a club like Leeds need more of.

Meanwhile, it was former boss Neil Redfearn that reportedly wanted the then QPR midfielder, just as he was a huge fan of Austin. In the end, Massimo Cellino didn't rate the Jamaican all that highly. Nor may he or Uwe Rosler rate Barton.

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