When the transfer window shut on September 1 there was one looming question that appeared to be brushed aside and forgotten amidst the usual hype surrounding deadline day: why didn't Charlie Austin attract more attention?
In a day that saw Manchester United potentially part with £58 million to sign Anthony Martial, an unproven 19-year-old French striker, the question remains: why is the club willing to gamble so much money on a player who has only scored 13 goals in his 63 senior career games?
Whereas Austin, a proven goal scorer, has escaped the attention of many a Premier League club desperate to add fire power to their front line because of one major factor. He's English.
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It is common practice in modern English football to shy away from signing a homegrown player and focusing recruitment drives on foreign talents due to the extortionate premiums placed upon domestic players. When looking at recent transfers involving British players the evidence is clear to see:
Raheem Sterling- £44 million
Andy Carroll- £35 million
Luke Shaw- £30 million
Jordan Henderson- £20 million
Ashley Young- £20 million
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Even the fledgling England international Darren Bent cost Tottenham £16.5 million in a transfer window that saw Barcelona sign legendary striker Thierry Henry for £16 million. So despite coming into the prime of his career at 26-years-old and offering potential suitors years of clinical finishing and aerial prowess, is Austin a viable and affordable option?
Austin has scored 39 goals in 71 domestic league matches, 18 of which were in 35 premier league games and this season he has found the net four times in QPR's opening five championship matches.
An English player with this record will not come cheaply. The problem is Charlie Austin is too expensive for the type of clubs that require his services. He isn't deemed good enough to fire a club into the Champions League but he could help a club cement their place in the top ten.
The trouble is, teams looking to push into the higher bracket of the Premier League can't make the financial commitment to prise him away from Loftus Road.
It isn't just the initial issue of matching QPR's £15 million valuation, there is also the small matter of Austin's £85,000-per-week wage demands.
Despite the general consensus being that all footballers are greedy, Charlie Austin and his representatives are just recognising his value as a commodity. If you want homegrown talent then you have to pay for it and team Austin will use this to their advantage.
Good news for Rangers fans is that Austin's demands have currently priced him out of the market, however whether this is still the case come January remains to be seen.
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