Serie A striker with potential to help Austin fire QPR to Premier League
Earlier in the January transfer window West Ham seemed nailed on to sign Ishak Belfodil, firstly on loan for the duration of the season and with the option of paying £8m in the summer to complete a permanent deal.
Despite these advanced negotiations, the deal never materialised for the striker, who is co-owned by Inter Milan and Parma.
And it is QPR that are hoping to take advantage and bring some of the form back out of Belfodil that made him such a hit at Parma last season, where he scored eight goals and registered four assists from 22 starts.
A reasonable sum was then paid by Inter in the summer, but he has managed just one league start all season, despite competition in attack to Rodrigo Palacio being in short supply for much of the campaign.
There is little doubt that Belfodil has all of the attributes to be a world-class striker, as he is physically imposing in the manner widely expected of a number nine, he has the movement to link attacks and the ability on the ball to beat a player.
With Andy Johnson not scoring for QPR in his 13 appearances since August and Bobby Zamora without a single goal all season, the burden has clearly fallen on the shoulders of Charlie Austin to fire the club to the Premier League.
Austin has seven goals in QPR’s last nine Championship games and 13 for the season, with Matt Phillips coming next in their scoring charts with just three.
Some support is clearly needed for Austin in his department and given Belfodil’s aerial prowess, he could be an additional threat from set pieces.
No team in the top half of the Championship have scored fewer home goals than QPR in the Championship this season and it is the fact that they have the best defensive record in the division that is largely responsible for them sitting second in the standings.
QPR’s current odds are 15/8 to win the Championship this season and three straight wins have ensured their climb back into the automatic promotion places.