Will West Brom need to rethink January plans following Charlie Austin's injury?

West Brom manager Tony Pulis before the match

West Bromwich Albion have been linked with making a move for Austin's Southampton teammate.

A report in the Telegraph last month suggested that West Brom wanted to sign Southampton striker Jay Rodriguez on loan during the January transfer window. And while the 27-year-old's lack of game-time at St Mary's this term hinted that Claude Puel may not have had too many qualms about letting him get first-team football elsewhere, recent events suggest that that may no longer be the case.

The Saints' star striker Charlie Austin dislocated his shoulder during the club's draw with Hapoel Be'er Sheva in the Europa League last week, and Puel suggested that the former Queens Park Rangers man may now be out for as long as four months (via BBC Sport).

Southampton's Charlie Austin is substituted after sustaining an injurySouthampton's Charlie Austin is substituted after sustaining an injury

With Austin set to miss the majority of the remainder of the campaign, it surely seems unlikely that the south coast club will allow one of their remaining forwards to move elsewhere, especially as part of a loan deal.

The Saints are the joint lowest goalscorers in the Premier League - only the bottom two have endured the same woes in front of goal - having scored just 14 times in 15 games and Austin contributed just under half of those goals.

Without him, Puel only has Rodriguez and Shane Long to call upon before he either turns to the youth squad or plays one of his other attacking-minded players out of position.

Southampton's Jay Rodriguez in action with Sparta Prague's Ondrej MazuchSouthampton's Jay Rodriguez in action with Sparta Prague's Ondrej Mazuch

For that reason, it is difficult to see why he would give the green light to one of his remaining forwards leaving on loan.

If the Baggies decided to attempt signing Rodriguez permanently, then Southampton may perhaps think differently about the switch as they will have some additional funds to bring a replacement in. 

But with questions mark still existing over the striker's fitness and whether he is the same goalscorer who shone before he cruelly sustained his long-term injury, it would arguably be a gamble for Tony Pulis to offer such a deal and it may be a slightly safer bet for West Brom to consider other targets.

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