West Brom will not be signing Southampton striker Charlie Austin, with the Saints striker set to stay and fight for his place at St. Mary’s despite the two clubs agreeing a fee.
According to the Mirror’s live (08:43 yesterday) transfer blog, Austin has agreed to stay with Southampton and fight for his place under Ralph Hasenhuttl, despite not being in favour under the Saints manager thus far. Last season, he made just 11 starts in the Premier League (as per WhoScored).
The 30-year-old has struggled for his best form in recent campaigns thanks to a host of injury problems, as shown on Transfermarkt.
Despite this, Austin is set to disappoint promotion-chasing West Brom, who were hoping to land the striker in a summer deal as they look to replace the goals lost by the departure of Dwight Gayle.
Austin, who has enjoyed prolific spells with both QPR and Burnley in the past, is an experienced striker at Championship and Premier League level, and has managed to score 66 goals in 129 second-tier appearances over the course of his career.
With Jay Rodriguez and Gayle no longer available, such a potent outlet might have been an attractive option to a Baggies side eager for promotion, a target set out by Slaven Bilic upon his appointment (via Sky Sports).
Still, Austin’s injury record is somewhat concerning as the player has missed 44 games over the last three seasons with various problems. Indeed, with a reported (SpotRac) wage of £70k p/w too, he does appear to be a rather decadent option. When you consider the fact the Baggies pulled out of a move for Gayle this summer due to his ‘Premier League contract’ at current club Newcastle, perhaps the club could find a cheaper and more reliable option anyway.
Missing out on a man with a proven record of scoring goals can never be a good thing but Austin’s injury and wage issues are causes for concern, so all is not lost in the hunt for a new forward.
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