A free agent after being released by QPR at the end of last season, Joey Barton is one of many names linked with Leeds United so far this summer and by far the most eye-catching.

Players don’t come much more polarising than Barton, who at 32 is reaching the end of a career often marred by controversy. Convicted twice for acts of violence, serving 77 days in prison on the first occasion and receiving a four-month suspended sentence the second time, Barton’s obvious talents have long been overshadowed by his proclivity for anti-social behaviour.

Despite all this, Barton has spent most of his career in the Premier League – at Manchester City, Newcastle United and Queens Park Rangers – because he’s always been a good player teams know will add something to their side. Whether his ability offsets the risk he’ll do something to damage the club is a point every manager who’s ever signed him must have weighed up, but I’d fear it’s an even greater risk for Leeds given the uneasy relationship between The Football League and Massimo Cellino.

None of this takes into consideration whether Joey Barton actually wants to come to Leeds United of course, but he’s spoken in the past of his love for playing at Elland Road and as he enters the final stage of his career, maybe one last challenge of restoring the Whites’ Premier League status will be seen as the perfect opportunity to end his career on a high note.

A genuine risk, for sure, but is Joey Barton the man to help guide Leeds United back to the Premier League?

  • mick

    it wont happen, i think all us leeds would want him for a season or so, but it wont happen

  • darrell

    We would all love to have the new ‘Vinnie’ someone to lift the crowd with a tackle. Why not make ‘horrible’ Joey our ‘Horrible Joey’?

  • yorxman

    I’ve already stated elsewhere about the fact he was, stats wise, the 76th best ranked player (out of 296) in the PL last season. We have no chance of signing any of the players ranked above him so it makes sense to give him a go. We need a PL central defender, centre mid & striker to provide a spine to the team for the coming season

    • mick

      yes we do you are right, but dont think the heirarchy will make it possible for jb to come,

  • mick

    if bamba comes and nobody else goes i think we only need a good winger, battling midfielder and quality goal getter

    • George Best ate my Hampster

      not much then….?
      Are they available from the bargain basement ?

  • James

    Brilliant player. Would love to see him playing for the mighty whites. But just dont see it happening unfortunatly

  • henrymouni

    He would be ideal for us, but that means nothing to Massimo I’m afraid!
    So far we have signed nobody who will improve our mid table squad.
    Every year the club tell us we need 4 or 5 players and we assume they will be better than the ones we have.
    All the decent players we have been linked, go to other clubs with ambition.
    Good players, who are out of contract at the end of June, have been tied up already.
    In the close season we believe our squad is better than it is.
    We are relegation, mid table fodder, just now.
    This is plenty of time left in the window, but who is there to sign?
    Barton would be the star we need to lead us up the table!
    The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • Chareose

      unfortunately I agree, what started out as a positive start to the summer is quickly turning into a damp squib as it seems our key targets move elsewhere……the only real news at the moment seems to be about selling Byram
      Barton is the sort of player youd sign if you really wanted a promotion push, so hes probably on his way to Derby

    • Rob Norris

      the Transfer Window isn’t even open yet pal Ffs !!!

      • henrymouni

        You have been too busy to notice all the players being signed up?
        Liverpool have signed 4 already!!
        Derby have signed 4 also.
        We have signed 2!

        “Football League clubs can sign players once they play their final game of the season. The Premier League window officially starts on 1 July but clubs can sign players from June.

        Out-of-contract players generally move on 1 July, although deals can be confirmed before then.”

        • Rob Norris

          Wow !!!

          steady yourself sir, wait to see what we’ve got at the start of the season – try and be positive

          • henrymouni

            I’ll try Rob!
            If only I could ignore history and experience!

          • Rob Norris

            being a Leeds fan feels like a curse most of the time, but we have to keep ze faith, MOT pal

  • Tim Campbell

    As already mentioned before Pearson and Glover have stated that ‘We’ the fans will be pleasantly surprised at who we are after. Im biting my tongue UNTIL i see who we actually bring in. The encouraging thing i think is the list of wanted players will include a lot the daily rags have’nt even picked up on. I trust what Pearson has said will bear fruit – keep the faith guys MOT

  • Gemma Howarth

    I see July 1st the marker for our transfer activities. The recruitment of pearson & glover gives me hope for the club changing from last year’s plan of attack MC seems to recognise Italy and England are very different in transfer needs. Pearson doesn’t strike me as someone here for the wages he I believe has discussed with MC the plan’s going forward and sees the chance to be part of something big with the club. Let’s hope the club are on the brink of a great journey to the promised land. Joey Barton
    Would be a Strachan type of signing.!!
    MC would probably relate to Joey’s crazy side.?
    He would be perfect for Leeds and exactly what we need. MOT
    Looking at all the transfers to date 95% are freebies

    • henrymouni

      That is our best hope Gemma.
      We have an excellent backroom line up, and Redders is back!
      Yes it is frustrating that so many experienced freebies have passed us by.
      As fans we can only pray that this ‘window’ will be different to all the others!!
      It would have been nice to have these ‘signings’ before pre-season, which is only days away.
      MOT

  • Bluesman

    Would the controversial midfielder unsettle the dressing room? Would he be a good or a bad influence on younger players. I like his football and commitment to a tackle, but would the negatives outweigh his undoubted ability?

  • Irving08

    Barton, with his humourless self-regard, proclivity for violence and apparent proneness to injury, would be bad signing. Furthermore, he would hold up the development of our existing midfield players.

    There’s not a lot wrong with our side that a couple of pacey and forceful players operating across the front line would not rectify. The rest is about selecting the right players in the right positions from the existing squad.

    • Ev

      Exactly what was said about Vinny Jones……………. your completely wrong, the kids need an old head and theres nothing better than an old head thats a reformed trouble maker with a bit of passion thrown in.

      • Irving08

        Vinnie felt honoured to be playing for Leeds; Barton might think he was honouring us by coming here. Vinnie had a strong team ethic; Barton – with his pretentious tweets – strikes me as a bit of a narcissist. Vinnie spelt trouble for other teams; Barton would spell trouble for us.

  • oldschoolbaby

    The youthfulness of our midfield / side is a concern. There are a number of wily old schemers and plenty of big physical presences in the Championship and it`s a big ask to think our kids can prevail consistently. We could do with a “Joey Barton” but I`m not convinced we need Joey Barton
    Suspect he will want something a lot more substantial but I would be tempted to offer him a rolling contract of some kind.

    • RichyM

      I think Cook would learn from Barton, hopefully not the snide ill tempered part of Barton’s game though. If Barton was happy with not playing every game he could be a great squad player and give our kids some education, old skool like.

      • oldschoolbaby

        We would benefit all round and to a huge degree from Barton`s positives. Comparisons with Vinny aren`t entirely valid though. He looked for trouble on behalf of the team. Barton seems to find trouble due to his belief he is some kind of people`s philosopher / pundit / policeman. Elland Rd is more than capable of propogating drama without any extra issues being imported. If Barton has matured and can conduct himself with a humility that won`t upset the youngsters then yes. If he hasn`t he`s not worth it. Problem is, how do you know ? If he comes it has to be with easy jettison cover in the contract.

    • Irving08

      Wouldn’t it be more logical – and cheaper – therefore to sign a big physical presence/wiley old schemer from the Championship – or from one of the sides that has gone up (I seem to remember Norwich having one such player).

      • oldschoolbaby

        Not really. The strategy seems to be – and I`m broadly in favour of it – to recruit youngsters / foreign unknowns who may have some PL quality within. If you simply recruit proficient Championship performers you will end up with an above average Championship side. We`re Leeds United !!
        The problem with the strategy is that only a significant minority will have what you`re looking for and the fragile confidence of the youngsters. I think you need a talismanic, uncompromising figure. If he`s matured he could be that figure. You just need to be able to get rid if he`s still toxic. You might also need to get rid of his wage bill to recruit extra quality on achieving PL status.
        Anyway, I`m quite sure his agent will be looking for a different type of boost the retirement fund deal. Don`t be losing too much sleep, 08

        • Irving45

          Point taken OS.