Did Leeds United needlessly blow £500k by keeping Rodolph Austin?

Elland Road East Stand

Leeds turned down a bid for Rodolph Austin from Wigan in January only to release him anyway.

Jamaican midfielder Rudolph Austin is searching for a new club, after recently being released by Leeds United.

He was very nearly a Wigan Athletic player, with the Latics submitting a £500,000 offer for the player during the January transfer window, as reported the Yorkshire Evening Post.

This was seen as a tempting deal on one level, with Austin's deal set to expire. Leeds sold Jason Pearce to Wigan but owner Massimo Cellino complied with the wishes of head coach Neil Redfearn and kept Austin.

A few months later and Leeds decided to remove Redfearn as boss, and released Austin in any case.

So was keeping him a pointless act, and a wasted chance to net £500,000 plus a saving on his wages?

That is certainly one way to look at it. The alternative was at the time Leeds were in a good run of form and pulling away from the relegation battle.

The club had already cashed in on Stephen Warnock against Redfearn's wishes, and perhaps did not want to interfere with his plans too much - ironic given the way the his assistant Steve Thompson was later suspended with the lack of a coherent reason.

Leeds were better for having Austin available, but whether he made a substantial difference to their final league standing of 15th place is another matter.

Austin played in nine games between transfer deadline day and the end of the season, and the highlight was his spectacular goal against Watford, in a 3-2 home loss.

Leeds won just three of the nine games he played, against Millwall, Middlesbrough, and Sheffield Wednesday, but lost five and drew one of the others.

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