QPR and Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League has prompted plenty to speculate which big fish will snare the pair’s star strikers Charlie Austin and Danny Ings.
Despite scoring seven fewer top-tier strikes, the latter has been linked with clubs of Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester United’s stature, while his R’s counterpart is reportedly on Newcastle’s wish list.
What seems certain is that both will be severing ties with their current employers in the coming months, but there’s a better buy than both at one of the clubs who has flown under the radar somewhat.
QPR’s Matt Phillips has been surprisingly short or suitors in the wake of the Super Hoops’ demotion to the Championship, but with the west Londoners up to their necks in debt, he is surely one of their more marketable assets.
In creating Leroy Fer’s wonder goal winner in his side’s 2-1 toppling of Newcastle last time out, Phillips took his assist tally for the season to eight, all of which have fallen in his last 13 matches.
The octet of set ups means no player in the top-flight has created more goals than the former Blackpool man in 2015.
When it’s considered QPR have only scored 17 times in the 13 aforementioned outings, three of which came via his boot, the importance of his contribution intensifies.
It means he has had a direct involvement in almost 65% of their goals across the timeframe in question.
In-demand Austin played in all bar one of these fixtures and has provided a respectable four goals and three assists, but his contribution to QPR’s goals across this spell weighs in at just 41%, someway short of Phillips’.
Ings’ return is even less favourable.
The Clarets’ ace is hampered by the fact that his side have been afflicted by a potent bout of amnesia in recent months, almost entirely wiping their memory of knowledge of what to do in the final third, but if he warranted all the hype he’s receiving, he could’ve combated it.
Across the same 13-match period in which Phillips has been electrifying, Ings has returned a paltry two goals and no assists.
Miraculously, this still equates to 50% of Burnley’s haul, though it says more about their obvious lack of quality than anything else.
Such form, when compared to that of his sought-after counterparts, makes Phillips the best potential buy from either outfit.