This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Queens Park Rangers have benefitted from the arrival of forward Charlie Austin in the winter window with him coming in from West Brom on loan for his second spell with the club.
Austin has managed to be a key part of the side as they have kicked on their form during the second half of the campaign and climbed up the Championship table. Mark Warburton’s side have benefited from his experience and also his ability to help get the best out of some of their bright and talented young attacking players.
The 31-year-old has chipped in with six goals during his 17 Championship appearances at the time of writing, and those goals have been important in winning vital points for the Rs. He, therefore, has shown that whilst he might not be as prolific as he once was, he still has the ability to weigh in with important goals over the course of a campaign.
The forward has issued a clear message to QPR over his potential long-term future and has suggested that ideally, he would like to return to the club in the summer. However, he also insisted that the Rs would need to show him that they have the ambition to challenge for promotion to the top-flight next term for him to re-sign for them.
Warburton has also recently suggested that he believes the Rs could have a squad capable of challenging for promotion if they can keep hold of key players this summer. That then is something they will be needing to do if they are to convince Austin to stay.
Given the recent comments from Austin, we ask out FLW writers whether he would be a wise addition to the squad again in the summer…
His comments will be pleasing to hear for QPR supporters.
I’ve been really impressed with what I’ve seen from Austin so far in his loan spell with the club, and I think he’s more than capable of firing them up the table from now until the end of this year’s campaign.
It really wouldn’t surprise me if QPR were looking at the possibility of bringing him back to the club for another season, as it looks as though he’s going to find regular minutes hard to come by with West Brom heading into the 2021/22 season.
It’s understandable that he wants to see the Hoops challenging for promotion though, and it’ll be interesting to see whether QPR are able to pull this deal off.
I think him and Lyndon Dykes could be an excellent partnership moving forwards for Mark Warburton’s side.
Are these 17 facts about QPR’s club badge true or false?
Austin hasn’t been as prolific as I thought he’d be, scoring just six times in 17 games, but of course he’s nearly 32 so he shouldn’t be expected to be the player he was years ago.
However, he still brings a lot of experience and has retained that eye for goal so I think if the wages are right this summer, then the Hoops would be foolish to not try and get him back.
They would have to bring other players in around him though – the club have been in good form since the turn of the year but they still need to add to their squad to become a fully-fledged play-off chasing team next season.
They could use some of the money made in the Ebere Eze deal last summer to bring some new players through the door, and Austin may very well be one of them.
This would be an outstanding piece of business for QPR if they manage to pull it off.
You only need to look at the upturn in form they have enjoyed since the return of Austin in the January transfer window, to see just how important he could be to their hopes of pushing on up the table next season.
Indeed, the experience he has could be so useful for younger members of the squad to learn from, while with QPR’s other attacking options having so far failed to really for this season, Austin’s goals could be absolutely going forward.
Add to that the fact that this would surely be a hugely popular decision amongst the club fanbase – who having been forced to watch from afar this season would no doubt love to watch him from the stands when crowds are hopefully allowed back in in 2021/22 – and this does seem to be a bit of a no-brainer for the club.