According to a report in the Independent, Newcastle United are said to be stepping up their interest in Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin, with a £13.25 million offer prepared.
Newly-appointed boss Steve McClaren has clearly identified the Magpies’ lack of firepower as a cause for concern this summer and has gone about strengthening their ranks accordingly.
Georgionio Wijanldum and Aleksandar Mitrovic have already joined the club in big-money deals, the latter certainly catching the eye considering his scoring prowess and huge potential.
But the club aren’t done there, and numerous reports point to QPR’s top scorer Austin as being the ideal man to lead McClaren’s attack into the new campaign.
The 26-year-old hit 18 Premier League goals last season, a superb tally considering the Hoops suffered relegation. However, should he arrive, how does McClaren integrate him into the first-team?
Well, as per the graphic above, the former Derby boss simply cannot ignore the benefits of a potential Mitrovic-Austin strike partnership and would need to find a way of playing both.
McClaren naturally prefers a 4-3-3 with wide wingers, yet considering Wijnaldum is very much a central attacking midfielder, playing three in the middle represents the best option available.
Austin is a real poacher and would thrive off Wijanldum’s creativity, while the 6ft 2inch Mitrovic poses a different kind of threat and would prove the perfect foil as a potential target man.
As per the XI above, McClaren’s width could come in the form of the athletic Jack Colback and Moussa Sissoko providing defensive cover for the full-backs to go on and join the attack.
Assuming potential signing Chancel Mbemba is granted a work permit, the talented defender alongside Fabricio Coloccini would provide a solid spine accompanied by the industrious Vurnon Anita.