Charlie Austin’s Queens Park Rangers may have been relegated at the end of the season, but it seems the striker will get a chance to stay in the Premier League after all.
After a spectacular 18-goal campaign, Austin now finds a number of clubs clamouring for his signature. QPR have set a £15 million price tag on his head, but that hasn’t stopped new Newcastle boss Steve McClaren from identifying Austin as his first choice. But Liverpool are reportedly also set to make a move.
The Magpies suffered from multiple injuries and suspensions, ending the year with only 40 goals in 38 games. The Reds also lacked the necessary firepower up front with early exits from the Champions League and Europa League tournaments, and couldn’t sustain a top-four finish.
Both teams would obviously benefit from Austin’s consistent offensive production, but where would the England international flourish the most?
At St. James’ Park, Austin would be pretty much guaranteed a starting slot in McClaren’s lineup. Newcastle are notoriously weak in the finishing and aerial duels department, both of which the 25-year-old excels at. The Magpies also favour attacking down the wings, but putting Austin at centre forward in a 4-2-3-1 formation would add depth to their attacking options and allow the youngster to shine in a fast-paced environment.
Liverpool have already secured a number of signings this summer, including Manchester City midfielder James Milner and Burnley striker Danny Ings. The Reds rely on possession football and strong passing, which isn’t Austin’s greatest strength. Ings is a much better dribbler, and has the versatility to drop back to centre midfielder if needed.
Austin’s goalscoring ability may give him an edge statistically, but it’s hard to see him reaching his potential in a less aggressive, passing-focused style at Anfield.
As the lone bright spot in a dreadful season for QPR, Austin has shown his ability to succeed in even the most dire of situations. He could provide the same spark for Newcastle while adding depth to the team’s attack, with the potential to become the squad’s No. 10 player. At Liverpool, Austin would be a flashier but ultimately less useful option for Brendan Rodgers’ possession game.
There’s no denying Austin’s impressive ability. But when it comes to where he’ll make the most impact, the striker may be destined to fight another relegation battle.