Newcastle’s search for a striker continues, with the club mounting a challenge for Burnley’s Charlie Austin in an attempt to bolster the attack in January.
With the club’s Europa league campaign kicking into life, an extra striker in the new year could be crucial if we intend to compete in three competitions come the start of the FA Cup.
Despite already having Ba & Cisse leading the line, the squad is in need of a back-up striker who is capable of finding the net as often as our Senegalese duo. And Clarets forward Charlie Austin could just be that man.
The 23 year old is quite simply on fire this season, scoring 15 in 12 games in all competitions. Despite playing in a league below us, it is still a quite remarkable statistic. He is now just 2 goals off his tally last season, having played just over a quarter of the games. Such an improvement has revealed that Austin is still developing as a footballer, and the pace at which he’s doing so suggests he could soon be, or already be, good enough for the Premier League.
Burnley manager Eddie Howe, though reluctant to let go of his star player, will probably be willing to sell in the region of £4m. This would be a good deal for a player showing so much potential, especially when we compare the price tag to the £12m Sunderland paid for young Championship striker Connor Wickham.
However, it looks as though the club faces stiff competition with Reading and Aston Villa for his signature. The former may be of particular interest to Austin, who played for The Royals during his youth.
Nevertheless, I think this is a player we should keep an eye on until the window opens again in 2013. If he keeps scoring at this rate, then the chances are he’s good enough for the top tier of English football. We must remember that we already have two superb strikers in our first XI, so the club needn’t spend too much for another striker, who may find himself sitting on the bench for league games. For now, it seems as though Charlie Austin should definitely be shortlisted for the upcoming transfer window.