Reports in the media suggest that QPR’s Charlie Austin and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke could both be on the move in the near future.
Austin has been linked with a number of clubs this summer, but some bookies have stopped taking odds on him heading to the north east with Newcastle.
Meanwhile Benteke is similarly in-demand. Sky Sports are claiming that Liverpool have activated the Belgian’s £32.5million release clause in his contract.
The strike pair have one major thing in common, they are prolific in front of goal. Austin had scored goals in the lower leagues prior to his top-flight debut last season, but his tally of 18 Premier League goals was a very impressive.
That tally was even more impressive considering he played in a poor QPR team that finished bottom of the league. In truth he was by far the Hoops best player and carried the team’s goalscoring threat. Once the Hoops were relegated he was always going to stay in the top-flight.
Christian Benteke finished last season with 16 goals in all competitions, but five less than Austin in the Premier League. His goals helped the Villans survive the drop and also achieve an FA Cup final appearance against Arsenal.
His career stats at Villa are impressive for somebody, like Austin, who has played in a poor team. Benteke has 49 goals in 101 appearances for Villa since his move to the Midlands from Genk in 2012. Not many strikers can claim a scoring ratio like that in top-flight football.
Austin is slightly older than Benteke at 26, compared to Benteke at 24. The Belgian may have the edge when it comes to potential and age, but in terms of value Newcastle could be picking-up a bargain in Austin.
The striker is a natural born goalscorer and that is why he has made it from non-league to Premier League in just five years. He instinctively knows where the goal is and finds the space to score goals.
Some will argue that he often misses more chances than he should, but he has the hallmarks of a top striker in that he still gets into the positions to score goals. His confidence does not seem to suffer when he misses chances.
Benteke’s value of £32million has been questioned by many fans, who do not believe the Belgium striker is worth that sort of fee.
However, those aforementioned stats prove that he is a player who is worth taking a gamble on. Benteke has scored a lot of goals in a Villa side, who were at times non-existent when it came to creativity under previous bosses.
Yet he still managed to score goals and at a good rate as well. If Benteke had been in a team full of creative players his goal tally would have been far more impressive. Maybe he will prove that at his next club.
Both Newcastle and Liverpool are in need of extra firepower for the new campaign. Liverpool finished sixth in the Premier League table last season and scored just over half of the goal amount registered in the previous season.
The lack of goals were a major problem, as star striker Daniel Sturridge struggled through injury, and Mario Balotelli, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert struggled to find any sort of form in front of goal.
The now-departed Raheem Sterling posed the main attacking threat, so the Reds are in desperate need of somebody to put the ball in the old onion bag.
Benteke can definitely take on that role and could become a hero with the Anfield faithful if he fulfils his big potential on Merseyside.
The Toon Army are also in need of a new hero/idol after a turgid second half of last season. Newcastle fans live and breathe football and they are now in need of somebody to take on the hero mantle.
Charlie Austin seems to fit that bill perfectly. He worked his way up from non-league football to the top level of English football, which the Magpies fans will appreciate. If he works as hard for Newcastle as he did for QPR he could be a big become a big hero on Tyneside.
Looking at it on sheer price alone Charlie Austin looks to be better value for money than his Belgian counterpart. However, Christian Benteke maybe has more potential than the former-Poole Town player, so could still prove to be a very good buy for the Merseysider’s.
Who will prove to be the better signing Austin or Benteke?