Forget McClaren, would Newcastle already be safe if they signed Charlie Austin?

St James Park Two

Southampton signed the goalscorer from Queens Park Rangers for just £4 million... Newcastle spent far more on duds.

The furore currently surrounding Steve McClaren is understandable.

The Newcastle United boss (or former boss) has been woeful. The hierarchy have been woeful. Graham Carr's scouting has been woeful.

And yet, could Newcastle already have been safe with their current squad had they just done the blatantly obvious and signed Charlie Austin from QPR?

Austin was talked about for some time before, in January, Southampton took him off QPR's hands for a measly £4m (as reported by BBC Sport). Newcastle have spent far more on far worse.

Yes, the 26-year-old has fitness issues but not many players don't. He has already proved himself at Southampton with a vital winner at Old Trafford and is now considered by many fans as a better option than Graziano Pelle when fit.

Once Austin gets a run of games going, he'll likely be in among the goals once again. Southampton fans will be able to enjoy his prolific talents, while QPR supporters will be able to remember the days they did.

The Magpies faithful, however, are instead watching a squad without a goalscorer looking odds on to be relegated.

Above all the other problems at St James' Park, the Newcastle setup seem to have a very disturbing obsession with staring the obvious choice in the face and saying 'no, I won't be doing that.' They jumped at the chance to hire a coach who was sacked for failing miserably at Derby County.

But a striker who scored 18 Premier League goals last season? Yeah, he obviously isn't needed at Newcastle...

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