According to ex-NUFC midfielder Jermaine Jenas, Newcastle missed a trick not looking at Southampton striker Charlie Austin over the summer, stating he was someone Rafa Benitez could and should have gone for to improve his goalscoring options up top.
We were heavily linked with a move for Austin in the summer of 2015 during his time at QPR, however the striker stayed down south, agreeing a £4m move to Southampton in January 2016.
Injuries and a manager merry-go-round with the Saints have not helped his form and, as Jermaine explains below, he may have been in favour of a move over the summer after finding himself playing second fiddle to Manolo Gabbiadini last season.
Here’s what Jenas had to say when asked about Newcastle’s need for a striker in January:
“It’s definitely top of the list (a striker).
“There’s a moment when they came up and not to say it would have easily happened, because strikers are rare, but Charlie Austin was sat on the bench at Southampton , doing nothing, not playing, probably not happy and I think it was a real good moment to probe around – do you fancy it Charlie?
“It just hasn’t happened. There’s players to go and get but they need goals.”
He’s not wrong. We needed a proven Premier League striker capable of leading the line and Austin would’ve been a handy option to have.
Jenas then touched on the striking options currently at the club, saying he worries that there isn’t enough goals in the team:
“I do worry a little bit, the goal situation is a problem. Bringing in Joselu to score goals, Mitrovic comes off the bench every now and then – Dwight Gayle looks the most dangerous when he does play,”
In hindsight, would you have liked to see us go for Austin over the summer?
(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at [email protected] & we’ll get back to you!)