Former Crystal Palace striker Neil Shipperley has admitted to Football FanCast that he wanted the Eagles to make a move for Charlie Austin before the Southampton bench-warmer joined West Bromwich Albion on loan last week.
You can certainly see why Shipperley is concerned about a lack of firepower in Roy Hodgson’s squad. Jordan Ayew, Christian Benteke and Conor Wickham are the only strikers in Palace’s squad right now and, tellingly, they scored just two Premier League goals between them last season.
£4 million Austin did not exactly enjoy a prolific 2018/19, finding the net just twice in 25 top flight games for Southampton, but the Berkshire-born centre-forward is a natural goal-scorer who has a fine track record at a number of clubs.
He even scored 18 times for Queens Park Rangers during 2014/15 as the Londoners were relegated from the Premier League.
But, while Palace’s transfer window ended with a whimper, Austin instead dropped down a division to spearhead West Brom’s promotion hopes – leaving Shipperley ruing an opportunity missed.
“I’ve been hoping Palace would go in for Austin to be honest,” says Shipperley, who had two spells at Selhurst Park. “I think he’s quite a good player and he does a lot of work off the ball.
“I think he’d do a job for Palace.”
While Austin opened his Baggies account in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup defeat to Millwall, Palace’s lack of cutting edge was there for all to see as they began the campaign with a predictable goalless draw against Everton with Max Meyer, Patrick Van Aanholt and Jordan Ayew all missing glorious chances for the hosts.
At least Wilfried Zaha has stayed. Without him, Palace would be staring at a relegation battle already.
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