Belfast Telegraph

Harry Redknapp wants to keep hat-trick hero Charlie Austin

By Jack Pitt Brooke

For Harry Redknapp, there was no question at all about Charlie Austin's future. Austin had just struck a hat-trick - taking him to 11 Premier League goals this season - securing another crucial win for Queen's Park Rangers as they beat West Bromwich 3-2 on Saturday.

But Austin has just only 18 months left on his deal at Loftus Road and is attracting interest from elsewhere. While Redknapp said that he "does not got involved with contracts", he was adamant that Austin would not be going anywhere.

"If we sold Charlie Austin we might as well go home, if you know what I mean," Redknapp said.

"We need Charlie to keep doing what he's doing and he can't afford to take his foot off the gas."

Rangers have offered Austin a new contract on improved terms and must hope that he signs it soon. Austin's achievements this season have been nothing short of remarkable.

On Saturday he scored his ninth, 10th and 11th Premier League goals of the season. Only Diego Costa and Sergio Aguero have more Premier League goals, and Austin has a rather different background from them.

QPR signed Austin from Burnley for £4m in the summer of 2013. Before then he had played for Swindon Town in League One and Poole Town in the Wessex Premier League, which he combined with day-to-day bricklaying work.

But now Austin is looking like a perfectly natural Premier League goalscorer. He scores all types of goals - on Saturday the first was a penalty, the equaliser was a tap-in and the winner was a classical leaping header from a corner. With 11 goals after less than half of the season, there is no reason why he should not aim for 20.

The West Bromwich manager, Alan Irvine, spoke positively about his big-name centre-forward, but Brown Ideye is unlikely to have quite as successful a season as Austin.

West Brom paid Dynamo Kiev £10m for Ideye in the summer but he is yet to score in the Premier League for them.

"I think Ideye is progressing," Irvine said. "He did a lot of good things today. And I feel it's only a matter of time before he gets his first Premier League goal."

Belfast Telegraph


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