Steve McClaren has for the first time admitted Newcastle’s ongoing interest in QPR striker, Charlie Austin.
The England international striker has been embroiled in what turned out to be a bit of a transfer saga over the summer. Papers had heavily linked Newcastle, along with Tottenham and West Ham, with the former non-league star, but a concrete bid was never officially made, according to most sources.
Nevertheless, McClaren last night admitted that the interest was definitely there, and will likely remain over the next few months leading up to the January transfer window.
McClaren said of Austin:
“He has been on Newcastle’s radar from the second half of last season and during the summer, and he will stay on the radar, definitely.”
The admission will certainly be of interest to Newcastle fans; the club have only scored two goals so far this season (the lowest of any team in the league), and with Mitrovic out for the next few games on suspension, it’s unlikely our goalscoring troubles will be easily resolved anytime soon.
With Papiss Cisse and Ayoze Perez on the roster (and Riviere languishing in the treatment room), we certainly have attacking quality, but it’s not clicked so far this campaign.
Cisse remains unsettled but McClaren took the opportunity to acknowledge the Senegal striker’s importance to the squad, and how we would have been left in a spot of trouble had he left in the Summer window:
“I am happy with his reaction to not playing, he was very unlucky not to. We just wanted to look at Mitro and one or two other things. There was a lot of speculation.
“But I said from day one to Lee Charnley, ‘Flipping heck, if Papiss does go, and there is talk about this, that and the other, you have got to get me a player who can score 11 goals in 22 games as he did last season’.
“That is very difficult in today’s market. So he can score and when he is focused and fit, he is a threat and he is that at the moment.”
Newcastle play West Ham this evening at the Boleyn Ground, and will be hoping Cisse or Perez can step up to the mark and rediscover their scoring taletns – and the travelling Toon fans will be right behind them, no doubt.
Nonetheless, the thought of Charlie Austin in a Toon shirt is a pleasant thought, and one which – according to McClaren’s recent comments – could quite easily be realized come January.
Newcastle official betting Partner, Coral, have some favourable odds coming into the game tonight. Let’s hope we have something to cheer about.