A foul every 18 minutes... Should Newcastle have just signed Austin instead?

Newcastle Utd - Striped Fans

Aleksandar Mitrovic's disciplinary record is already utterly shocking. What use will the Magpies forward be if he's always suspended?

The 20-year-old Serb's Newcastle United career has got off to a worrying start. Several times has he looked like getting sent off. And, after 16 minutes against Arsenal, that's exactly what Mitrovic did.

The striker may well be one for the future but, for a similar price, could the St James' Park outfit have signed a more reliable option in Queens Park Rangers forward Charlie Austin?

According to the Daily Mail, Newcastle were interested in the 26-year-old - who would have set them back £15 million.

The Tyneside club could still move for the QPR striker, of course, but would it have been a safer bet to get him in already?

 2015/16

Minutes Per FoulAppearancesMinutes Played
Fernandinho 27 3 270
Idrissa Gueye 27 3 270
Joshua King 23.57 3 165
Erik Lamela 22.6 3 113
Aleksandar Mitrovic 18.14 4 127
Glenn Murray 15.88 2 127

As Opta stats show, only Glenn Murray averages less minutes per foul than Mitrovic in the Premier League. In 127 minutes, the Magpies forward has committed an alarming seven fouls.

The Serb may well be a quality striker who develops into a Newcastle icon. He has already been compared to Alan Shearer and touted as the club's next cult hero.

But Mitrovic needs a firm hand and Steve McClaren isn't famed for being hard on his players.

Newcastle have had a tough start in terms of fixtures and the side's fighting spirit is slowly winning fans around. But they are still in the relegation zone after four games and having a striker who doesn't play through suspension isn't going to help in that regard - or any regard, for that matter.

Even if you think QPR's Austin is a worse striker than the 20-year-old, then, at least he's been on the pitch long enough to score four goals already this season.

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