Former England and Aston Villa striker (he even has his bomb squad qualifications) Darren Bent has been on the media circuit this week and he thinks that Southampton striker Charlie Austin should definitely be a ‘yes’ as a transfer target this summer.
30-year-old Austin has featured on the rumour mill so far for us this summer, and it goes back to June where initially some were claiming we were looking to do a double deal with Matt Targett but thankfully nothing has come of it yet.
Austin’s quality is well known but at £8million with his recent significant lack of goalscoring form, added to the fact he is the polar opposite of the type of player we are now looking to sign makes this a no go for me, as I just don’t see why we’d take an £8million risk given that’s what Southampton seem to want and from a mentality aspect, he’s reportedly turned down a move to local rivals West Brom (courtesy of our friends at Vital Baggies) where he’d have been guaranteed game time but he would rather fight for a place that no longer exists at his parent club.
I can certainly see what Bent is saying because if we could guarantee Austin would stay fit and find his form, he would be good experienced cover at the top of the pitch, but the days of Villa gambling on players coming to the end of their career has to be over.
“Charlie Austin is a funny one because I like him as a centre-forward. He scores goals, you can’t take that away from him – injury prone, that’s the only thing. If you can keep Charlie fit for the whole season and if you can keep him consistently playing for 30 games this season he will score you 15 goals. Within 10 games he’ll score five or six goals and if Aston Villa can get him, then, by all means, ‘yes’. If he’s going to be one that plays six games, miss the next 20, play the next five games and then he misses the next 10 there’s no point, he’s not helping you.”
The biggest flaw in Bent’s logic there is, keep him fit for 30 games and he’ll guarantee 15 goals as according to Soccerbase he’s only scored 20 goals since January 2016.
Let’s move on, please.