West Brom target Charlie Austin can give them something they desperately need

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

According to Express and Star, West Brom are battling Bristol City for the signing of Southampton striker Charlie Austin as support for Kenneth Zohore.

What’s the word?

It appears that Baggies boss Slaven Bilic is desperate to add another striker before Thursday’s 5pm deadline having brought in one new attacker already whilst also chasing Albian Ajeti last week.

The Croatian has lost the prolific exploits of Dwight Gayle who scored 24 goals in 41 games last season whilst West Brom have also sold Jay Rodriguez and Salomon Rondon this summer, meaning they lack considerable depth in attack.

Austin has been limited in terms of game time at Southampton and will be looking at even less opportunity with the arrival of striker Che Adams. The 6 foot 2 striker made just 11 starts in the Premier League last term.

Exactly what they need

This may be a mark of desperation from Bilic but West Brom’s move for Austin might be more calculated than first thought.

The veteran goalscorer has a very accomplished record at this level of football – in 129 Championship appearances, Austin has netted 66 goals.

This sort of proven record and experience is exactly what the Baggies need with a serious lack of options up top as the Championship season has already gotten underway.

Zohore has some experience in the second tier of English football having scored 21 goals in 54 starts for Cardiff over the course of two seasons but he can’t take all of the burden by himself.

Hal Robson-Kanu is the only other striker at the club – and he’s hardly got the best return having scored just nine times in the last three seasons.

Austin was outstanding in his last full season in the Championship at QPR in the 2013/14 season. He scored 19 goals in 34 appearances, averaging a rating of 7.20 per game.

Find out which stadiums fans have nominated for the worst atmosphere in football in the video below…

The 30-year-old managed a whole shot more per game on average in that season at 3.6 than Zohore did in his last outing in this very division.

He also drew more fouls at 1.5 per game compared to the former Denmark under-21 international’s 1.1 per game, showing his capability in holding the ball up.

This move makes sense late in the window and if he stays fit, could be a very shrewd move on Bilic’s behalf, especially if they beat Bristol City to his signature who could well be one of their playoff rivals towards the end of the season.

Did you like this article? If so, highlight us on NewsNow - here's how. If you have any feedback for the writer - click here.

Have something to tell us about this article?
CLICK HERE