Queens Park Rangers have exceeded all expectations this season.
After finishing in 13th position last term there was a feeling that the club would have to rebuild as speculation continued to mount around some of their star men.
Eberechi Eze was the main man at Loftus Road and secured a big-money move to Crystal Palace last summer, while the likes of Grant Hall, Ryan Manning and Toni Leistner also moved on.
Add into that the uncertainty regarding Bright Osayi-Samuel’s future and there was a feeling that major upheaval was in store.
The uncertainty continued through the first half of the season with Osayi-Samuel continuously linked with a move away – something that came to fruition in the January transfer window.
At this point Mark Warburton’s side looked like a shell of what it had been even six months before. That’s why there was a need for experienced heads and a key figure to lead QPR’s charge in the second half of the season.
Few would have dreamed that Charlie Austin would be the man to make the move.
The striker had fallen on hard times with West Brom after their promotion to the Premier League and that had meant that first team opportunities were limited.
Clubs in the upper echelons of the league were interested in a move but Austin was focused on moving to a club where he’d be valued and immediately settled so that he could show his best.
There was never anywhere else but QPR.
Since moving back to West London on loan Austin has scored five goals in 15 appearances while also establishing himself as a real talisman for the Hoops.
It’s just a shame that his loan spell is coming to an end in a few weeks’ time.
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Charlie Austin faces an uncertain future with his contract at The Hawthorns due to expire in the summer, meaning that he’s likely to be on the move again in just a couple of months.
At 31 years of age this is a big move for the striker who is moving into the final stages of his career – something that means that it’s essential for him to find a club where he feels wanted and valued.
Supporters are distraught that they haven’t been able to see Austin since his return to QPR, but surely the club will be doing all that they can to bring him back on a permanent basis this summer.
There’s no group of fans that love Charlie Austin more than those in W12, and with Mark Warburton’s side distinctly lacking in leaders it seems like a move which is essential both on and off the pitch.
Of course the striker’s wage demands are likely to be a push for a club like QPR, but there’s no doubt that signing Austin would be a safe investment and one which would leave fans very excited about the season ahead as they look towards a potential push for the top six next term.