Last night the TalkSport journalist Ian Abrahams sent a Tweet linking Spurs with a move for Charlie Austin.
Bit of transfer gossip around here tonight, Spurs are interested in Charlie Austin
— Ian Abrahams (Moose) (@BroadcastMoose) June 24, 2015
Whether or not there’s any truth in the rumour, it could be an interesting option for the club to explore. Austin scored 18 Premier League goals last season for a side that were relegated, making him the second top scoring Englishman in the Premier League after our own Harry Kane.
He’s available for £15m, which isn’t a huge amount in today’s market for a player who’s just had a very successful season and has just been called up for the latest England squad. Austin has been heavily linked with a range of clubs, from the likes of West Ham and Newcastle, to a possible role as cover for Diego Costa at Chelsea.
The player has complained today that QPR’s valuation has priced him out of a move but it’s not an unrealistic one from the club’s point of view. What’s perhaps putting off buyers are the doubts that remain about Austin’s ability.
While the goals flowed last season it was noticeable that QPR were reluctant to play him as a lone-striker – which is where he’d play in most Premier League club’s formations. He is a brilliantly instinctive finisher within the box but is sometimes less impressive when contributing to general play further back (though not nearly as bad as some make out).
That said, when you’re talking about a 25-year old who has risen from the depths of non-league to the top flight and remained a prolific scorer throughout, it would be silly to suggest that Austin is a player who can’t meet challenges and improve.
For Spurs, the biggest question is how he would work with and without, Kane. A combination of the two with Kane in the deeper role could work well, though we might have hoped for an injection of real pace to complement Kane’s strength and guile. When Kane’s being rested, the onus would be on Austin to prove that he could cut it playing alone for a top club.
One senses that the signing Austin might not be Mauricio Pochettino’s top priority this summer, but that he’d be somewhere on the list. He represents something of a gamble, yet in the area of the market that Tottenham are looking at, so does every striker. Spurs could do a lot worse.