Queens Park Rangers face Stoke City later this evening as they look to earn three points at the Kiyan Prince Foundation stadium.
The Hoops were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline at the weekend as Michael Olise’s late strike gave Reading all three points when they perhaps should have got a draw and no more.
Indeed, it was another case of QPR not getting their rewards for the chances they create and, naturally, there will be a view that the club needs to add another goal-scorer in January.
It’s widely accepted at Rangers that the next window, likely the next few windows in fact, will see the club looking to use the free and loan markets and, therefore, there’s perhaps one man that needs to be considered more than most – Charlie Austin.
A modern QPR hero, there can be no doubt that if he joined he’d immediately bring a boost to fans’ morale heading into the rest of the season.
There can also be little doubt that, given the chances QPR create, he would score the goals that they need to start getting themselves up the table.
West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic clearly has no plans to use Austin this season. He is far down the pecking order despite only being 31 and capable of scoring goals at Premier League level, let alone the Championship.
Knowing this, the striker will want a move to show exactly what he can still do and, in QPR, there’s a club that would likely welcome him with open arms.
Of course, arrangements would have to be made over his wages – it’s highly unlikely the R’s could pay the majority of what he is on at West Brom and, indeed, he’d need to prove his fitness levels are high enough to deal with the robust nature of this particularly congested season.
Surely, though, he’s worth a punt for the R’s if it’s financially viable?
Mark Warburton has gone on record several times to say the R’s need to be more ruthless in the box and, in terms of strikers sitting around, twiddling their thumbs on Premier League benches right now, few are as ruthless as the former Hoops number 9.