Sky Sports’ live transfer blog (June 27, 15:34), Sheffield United have enquired about the availability of Southampton striker Charlie Austin.
The forward hasn’t been at his best for a few years now, and having scored just twice last season it seems as if his best years are behind him.
But if anyone can change his fortunes it is Chris Wilder. Just look at David McGoldrick, 12 months ago he was being released by Ipswich, but at the end of last season he found himself picking up the Player of the Year award at a club who had just been promoted to the top flight.
Austin will be a gamble, but if Wilder can perform another miracle and get him back to his best he could score plenty for the Blades as shown by his 18 goal Premier League season with QPR.
It’s tough to say whether or not this signing would pay off, especially seeing as the Saints have previously stated that they want £10m for him, but Football FanCast’s writers have had a go at delivering their verdict on if the Blades should sign him or not.
Which Sheffield United players won’t cut it in the top-flight next season? Ingood Nick discusses in the video below…
“I think this would be a terrific signing for a newly promoted side like Sheffield United, however, £10m may be a bit too much considering he’s approaching his 30s. Austin may only have scored twice last season but over the year he’s been a handy and canny striker to have in your side. It’s easy to forget he once scored 18 in a Premier League season for QPR and if given regular time he could be a valuable asset for the Blades. If they can get him for slightly less, they should be all over it.”
“Sheffield United should look to sign Charlie Austin if the price is right, but at £10m it certainly isn’t.
Southampton only signed the 29-year-old for £4m in the first place, and while times have changed in terms of transfer fees since 2016, given he has hardly made a major impression for them with 20 goals in 81 appearances in all competitions – as well as featuring for less than 1,000 minutes in the Premier League last term – £10m is a steep asking price.
The former Queens Park Rangers is primarily a penalty box striker as he isn’t the quickest and can’t get around the pitch as much as other attackers might be able to, so as long as the service is good enough from wide areas next season he would prove to be an inspired addition.
Now Kevin McCabe must get his negotiating hat on to push Saints’ valuation down.”
“£10m is a lot for a player who has scored just 15 league goals through the last three seasons, but Austin does have the potential to be the man that keeps the Blades up. He has of course excelled before in a team expected to be fighting relegation, bagging 18 top-flight goals for QPR in 2014/15. While that may seem like too long ago to really matter, the striker hasn’t started more than 12 league games in a season since then, so if the Blades can keep him fit he can certainly get close to that tally again.”