Why West Brom parting ways with Charlie Austin would be ideal
According to the Birmingham Live, West Brom striker Charlie Austin is in talks to return to his former club Queens Park Rangers in the January window.
The 31-year-old is among a host of players the Baggies are looking to move on this month as new boss Sam Allardyce bids to reshape his squad. Third-choice goalkeeper Jonathan Bond is also closing in on a move to LA Galaxy in the United States. (h/t Birmingham Live)
West Brom have already hit the ground running in the January window with a deal to sign winger Robert Snodgrass. The veteran has put pen to paper on an 18-month contract at the Hawthorns and journeyman goalkeeper Andy Lonergan has arrived as another new face in the building to help the Baggies in their fight against relegation. (h/t Birmingham Live)
Austin joined West Brom from Southampton back in the summer of 2019 and went on to play a key role in the club’s promotion-winning campaign under Slaven Bilic in the Championship last term.
The former Burnley marksman contributed with 10 goals in 34 league appearances in the previous campaign but has found himself way down the pecking order this term.
The striker barely featured under Bilic in the Premier League and his situation hasn’t really changed following the appointment of Allardyce. Austin has continued to struggle for game time and is yet to start a single Premier League fixture for the relegation-threatened Baggies. The 31-year-old has been restricted to just 5 substitute appearances so far, playing a meagre 134 minutes of league football.
Putting things into context, West Brom getting Charlie Austin off the books would allow them to trim down their wage bill and free up necessary cash required to fund a move for a new striker. The veteran clearly hasn’t been trusted to play a significant role in the top-flight, meaning that it wouldn’t make sense for the Baggies to keep him at the club for simply warming the benches.
More importantly, the January window could be the last real opportunity for West Brom to pocket a transfer fee for the striker. Austin’s contract at the Hawthorns in due to expire at the end of the season, so the club faces the risk of losing him for nothing in the summer if they don’t sell him this month.
With first-choice No.9 Karlan Grant failing to deliver the goods, the Baggies should definitely dip into the winter market for a new striker. West Brom would surely need to improve on their tally of 11 goals scored in 17 games so far if they are to give themselves a chance of beating the drop. Considering that Austin isn’t a part of the manager’s plans, letting him go would be in the best interests of the club.
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Looking at things from the player’s perspective, Austin still has a lot to offer at 31, if not in the Premier League then certainly in the Championship.
Having enjoyed the most productive spell of his career at QPR, a return to Loftus Road would allow him to rejuvenate his faltering career. Having said that, West Brom parting ways with the veteran would be a win-win situation for all parties involved.