Queens Park Rangers supporters have been pretty quiet in recent times after seeing their team suffer a seventh Championship defeat of the season at the weekend.
Steve McClaren’s men went into their meeting with Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park having won four and drawn the other of their five league games in October, a run of form which moved them to the cusps of the play-off places. Yet the Hoops slipped to 11th at the weekend as a late Bradley Dack penalty sealed a 1-0 success for Tony Mowbray’s Rovers, thus bringing to an end QPR’s impressive unbeaten run.
Thus, there have been many disappointed Hoops fans up and down the country in recent times, although several are hoping that their side will continue to improve as the season wears on after being reasonably active late on in the summer transfer window.
In fact, the club’s hierarchy were praised for securing late deals for Tomer Hemed and Nakhi Wells, yet the same cannot be said for the deal they struck with Southampton back in January 2016 for striker Charlie Austin.
Yes, the Hoops may well have made a £490,000 profit on the 29-year-old, having sold him for £4.68 million (as per Transfermarkt) a few years after signing him for £4.19 million (as per Transfermarkt), but given just how prolific he was for the club, and thus how much of an asset he was always likely to be for Southampton, QPR should have got so much more for the forward.
Ultimately, Austin made the move to Loftus Road back in the summer of 2013 after impressing at fellow second tier side Burnley, with his first season at QPR paving the way for the success that followed given he scored 17 goals in just 31 Championship games to help them win promotion to the Premier League.
And while they went down the season after, the 29-year-old was arguably the only bright spark in an otherwise miserable campaign, with the striker bagging a mightily impressive 18 goals in just 35 Premier League games for the Hoops – they would have been relegated a lot sooner were it not for the Englishman’s exploits.
Yet Austin surprisingly remained at Loftus Road that summer and set about helping QPR return to the top-flight, netting ten times in just 16 Championship games before Southampton came in and convinced him of a return to the Premier League.
Yes, it was always likely, as soon as the Hoops were relegated, that the club would struggle to keep hold of the 29-year-old, but to not even make a £500,000 profit on his services must have come as disappointment to the club – they could have got so much more despite their glaring need for funds.
And when one sees how influential Austin has been for much of his time at Southampton, it’s plainly obvious that they needed a player of his ilk up top – QPR eked everything out of Austin on the field, but they arguably didn’t off the field when selling him back in 2016.
As such, while they did at least make a profit on the striker, and certainly got their money’s worth out of him, there will surely be frustrations among fans that they didn’t get more for the 29-year-old when he left little over three years ago.
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