The controversial midfielder has left Rangers by mutual termination after a fallout with teammates and manger Mark Warburton.
Joey Barton is never a man who shies too far away from controversy as it has been proven once again today. The midfielder has today finally left Rangers after a stand off period lasting nearly two months following a bitter dispute between coaches and teammates. Barton was furious at the Gers' 5-1 defeat away to Old Firm rivals Celtic and took his anger out on others at the training ground.
So it may seem crazy for Leeds to be tempted at taking the 34-year-old one capped England man to Elland Road, to rock what is a very steady boat at the moment. Leeds have plenty of midfielders at the club already and going along very nicely sitting in sixth place in the league.
But there are genuine reasons why Barton and Leeds would be a match made in heaven. Here are three of them.
He is a winner
The reason why Barton was so incensed with his Rangers teammates and ultimately why he had to leave the club was because of the defeatist nature of them. They went behind in the Old Firm derby, the first league clash for over four years, and they rolled over too easily and therefore succumbed to a heavy defeat.
That mentality is completely against what Barton stands for. He is a tough tackling, warrior like midfielder who has regularly captained sides, despite his past misdemeanours.
Barton has been there and done it in the Championship before having doesn't with Newcastle in 2010. They may have had comfortably the best squad in the division that year,but the job still needed doing, with the right sort of characters. Barton has that.
He is very experienced
The problem with Leeds's current midfield and squad in general is that it lacks experience. In the middle of the park, due to Liam Bridcutt's injury, the most experienced regular midfielder is Eunan O'Kane, who at 26-years-old has made 251 career appearances. Not a huge amount by any stretch of the imagination.
Barton would remedy that easily, and his experience would mean he can sit and dictate the tempo in midfield and allow those ahead of him to flourish.
He would also be a great mentor for Leeds' young chargers in 21-year-old Kalvin Phillips and 18-year-old Ronaldo Vieira, both of whom have been very impressive in their first season as first team regulars.
He would relish playing for the Leeds fans
Barton is definitely a showman type; you get the sense that he loves to impress fans and get them on his side, perhaps understandable due to his criminal past and the desire to reform his own character. And what better set of fans to do that for than the incredibly loyal Leeds fans.
His best spells as a player have tended to come at clubs with massive fan bases, such as Newcastle and Manchester City, where he was playing so well he earned his first England call up.
He knows that if he joined Leeds, the first big tackle he makes would get a roar of appreciation from the Elland Road terraces and those are the little things that can make a player a cult hero.
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