Former Newcastle star Rob Lee has posed the question: ‘Why would Charlie Austin choose Newcastle United?’
As the one time England midfielder points out, once you go past the opportunity of playing in front of fifty thousand people, what else is there to offer?
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Rob Lee knows more than most just how great it can be playing for Newcastle United and living in the area. After all, he still makes enough trips back up here for talk-ins/dinners despite leaving the club and the area thirteen years ago.
The choice for Lee back in 1992 was Middlesbrough or Newcastle, not a difficult one, although at the time Boro were in the Premier League and Keegan had to sell the midfielder (winger at the time) his NUFC dream.
At this moment in time, Newcastle are the bookies’ favourites to land Charlie Austin, with Bournemouth a clear second in the betting, then the likes of West Ham, Crystal Palace and others.
Rob Lee talking to the Chronicle:
“The problem we are going to have is that two or three clubs want Charlie Austin and why would he choose Newcastle United?
“Playing in front of 52,000 is still a pull but Newcastle are struggling, he’s had a year of struggling and now he wants a team that can at least finish in mid-table.”
Who else will you buy?:
“He had that (struggle) last year with Queens Park Rangers and that will be my concern. Even if we agree a fee of £15million and pay him what he wants, then he still has to choose to come to Newcastle.
“I would be asking- ‘Who else will you buy because the team isn’t good enough?’, if I didn’t get the answers I would possibly go to West Ham or Crystal Palace, or whichever club he gets offered.”
We would all like to think that if it is a simple choice of Newcastle or Bournemouth then a move to Tyneside is obviously going to happen.
However, as Lee points out, quite rightfully Austin could and should be asking the question, who else are Newcastle going to sign that will lift them above another relegation struggle?
Bournemouth might only be able to offer ten thousand fans to play in front of and you hope that the draw of fifty thousand would be a massive pull.
That though is not the only thing in a player’s life, Charlie Austin has just got married and has a ywo year old child, plus he’s from the south (Berkshire) and I’m guessing his wife and her family are too.
Obviously I love Tyneside as much as the next man (or woman) and know how great it is to live here, but I’m not that insular that I can’t appreciate just how nice some of the places down towards Bournemouth and the surrounding area are. Especially with Premier League wages to spend….
Austin could well think he’s got a nice lifestyle and give it a season at Bournemouth then see who else might come in for him if he scores another 18 goals, or the same at Palace, or especially West Ham – with their move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon.
Like Kevin Keegan did for Rob Lee, Charlie Austin has to be sold a dream and of course Mike Ashley to be offering the transfer fee and wages.
If Rob Lee had chosen Middlesbrough, where would he and Newcastle United have ended up?
Let’s hope we are not wondering about what could have been with Charlie Austin after this transfer window.
He may not be a world beater but I think with another couple of equally good signings, they could just transform Newcastle United.