West Brom forward Callum Robinson may miss the Baggies’ next Premier League match after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID 19 on international duty.
Sky Sports have reported that an Irish player has tested positive for COVID-19 after their trip to Slovakia through the week.
Four others who came in close contact with the infected person have had to be stood down from the game against Wales and there are suggestions in the comments of the story on Twitter claiming that Robinson is one of the four players who won’t feature on Sunday.
With West Brom yet to sign a striker, this leaves the Baggies without a forward who has played Premier League minutes this season. Hal Robson-Kanu is out for a number of weeks with a broken arm and the two men in the frame to replace Robinson are Charlie Austin and Kenneth Zohore.
The most likely of these options is Austin. Zohore is yet to play any minutes for the Baggies this season while Austin has made two appearances in the Carabao Cup.
But will Austin be able to lead the line in the Premier League?
He played 75 minutes in a 3-0 win for the Baggies against Harrogate Town in the Carabao Cup which was his only notable appearance this season. He also played nine minutes against Brentford and scored in the shoot-out, but it is hard to judge Austin’s involvement after being on the pitch for less than 10 minutes.
Against League Two Harrogate, Austin managed 100% success rates for both dribbling and offensive duels and won two free-kicks for his team showing him to have been a nuisance up-front, albeit against fairly weak opposition (WyScout).
However, Austin only won 45% of his aerial duels against Harrogate, which is disappointing for a target man, especially against League Two opposition. If he struggled in the air against Harrogate, how effective will he be against sides like Burnley in the Premier League?
In other aspects of his game, Austin managed a 67% passing accuracy and lost the ball 12 times. Underperforming on stats like these won’t fill Baggies fans with confidence ahead of a crucial run of games in the Premier League.
There is a real striker crisis at the Hawthorns and the club need to get someone in as soon as possible to fill the gap left by Robinson. They have under a week to get someone in before they play Burnley. Otherwise, it will be Austin lining up for the Baggies which, based on the stats, will not be successful.
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