West Brom director Richard Garlick explains why Joleon Lescott was sold to Aston Villa

West Brom

The 33-year-old was allowed to leave despite a successful campaign last season.

West Bromwich Albion’s director of football administration Richard Garlick has explained the reasons behind sanctioning the sale of Joleon Lescott at a fans meeting.

Aston Villa completed the capture of the veteran defender on deadline day in what was something of a surprise move after his successful season at the Hawthorns the year previous.

"I hear what you say about him being player of the year and he was great for us for that year, but I think Tony (Pulis) wanted to try and bring in younger players," said Garlick, in quotes published by the Birmingham Mail.

"He wanted to bring in James Chester, Jonny Evans, younger players… We were worried about the age of that backline with Joleon, Gareth (McAuley) and Jonas (Olsson) and I think it was a good deal for everyone.”

The Baggies secured the services of Chester and Evans in big-money moves and while they are certainly shy of Lescott's 33 years, they aren’t necessarily better options on current form.

Chester was part of a relegated Hull defence last season and hasn’t yet shown that he can be a top Premier League defender.

Evans, on the other hand, was an established figure at Manchester United but it remains to be seen how he reacts in new surroundings.

West Brom appear content with their business, however, and Garlick believes Lescott’s exit was a deal that suited all parties.

"The club looked at it and said okay if you want to go and we can get a replacement in and we felt the price was right...” he added.

"Bearing in mind he came in on a free. We didn't see it as a long term solution. Eventually with a year left it would have fizzled out.”

Tony Pulis’ decision to inject young blood into an ageing team makes sense, but only if the quality levels aren’t compromised.

In selling the former Manchester City man, the Baggies are deprived of a seasoned pro who was one of their top performers last season, and it’s certainly a risk.

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