Over the weekend claims emerged that Newcastle were trying to knock down Charlie Asutin’s asking price due to his injury record.
The QPR striker has had problems with his shoulder and when he was at Burnley, it was reported a move to Hull City broke down due to a failed medical.
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There was also an incident in the 2013/14 Rangers promotion season that happened during a match against Bolton on one January night.
Austin’s teammate Karl Henry taking up the story:
“His shoulder popped out, he dislocated it and they put it back in again. A lot of players would have just walked off.
“It is a testament to him as he wants to play and is a good character. I am sure he will be all right for Saturday. He will be patched up and put out again.
“He reminds me of the nanny from the kids’ cartoon Count Duckula. That’s what Charlie is like every week, there’s tape here, there and everywhere.
“At £4m he is definitely a bargain. Anyone that scores the goals he has is worth their weight in gold.”
Charlie Austin was indeed worth his weight in gold, or at least the £4m QPR had paid to Burnley. The striker scoring 19 goals in only 31 Championship starts (plus 3 as a sub), the main factor in their promotion two seasons ago.
In that Bolton match, Austin did indeed have his shoulder ‘popped’ back in during the match and not only stayed on the pitch, but went on to score one of the two goals that won the match that night.
However, Karl Henry was wrong about one thing, Austin wasn’t able to be patched up for that next match and instead missed over two months of the season.
With Mike Ashley’s record of transfer dealings then it would be little surprise to see him trying to force a reduction because of perceived injury problems.
Players such as Sylvain Marveaux, Hatem Ben Arfa and Dan Gosling, amongst others, were all signed whilst coming back from serious injuries.
As for Siem de Jong, considering the number of injuries/ailments that affected him in his later stages at Ajax, Mike Ashley probably got the Dutch club to pay him to take the midfielder away!
In Charlie Austin’s case though, these are the number of club matches (all competitions) he has played in over the course of the last four seasons:
45 in 2011/12
40 in 2012/13
37 in 2013/14
36 in 2014/15
Averaging 40 matches a season once he became a first team regular doesn’t suggest to me that there are substantial grounds for concern.
In fact with his all action centre-forward role of putting himself about, you have to be impressed at how many he has played.
Obviously he has been described as a bit of a modern day Alan Shearer and the Newcastle legend has even used his Twitter account to encourage Austin to come to Newcastle.
Karl Henry’s description of the QPR striker tells me even more that he is exactly the type of player Newcastle should be doing everything they can to sign.
That Bolton match description makes me think of the times that Alan Shearer put his body on the line, including that famous image of him Terry Butcher-like with a bloodied bandage around his head.
Newcastle are desperate for character as well as talent, Charlie Austin looks like he can supply both of those as well as goals.
If United miss out on him because of trying to barter with a price that others are willing to pay, then it could be an own goal of epic proportions.