Southampton has completed the £4million signing of Charlie Austin from Championship QPR with the striker signing a four-and-a-half deal with the Saints.
The 26-year-old could turn out to be a real bargain at that fee.
The striker’s contract at Loftus Road was set to expire in the summer and he revealed recently that he was set to stay at QPR until the summer.
Austin’s change of mind could be a major bonus for Ronald Koeman’s side, as the Dutchman looks for his side to move up the top-flight table.
A very good goalscorer
I am a big fan of Charlie Austin and the return of the striker to the top-flight could mean danger for Premier League defences. Austin scored 18 Premier League goals last season in a QPR team that finished bottom and were a very poor team.
The former-Swindon star has been prolific in every league he has played in during his career. His presence in any team almost guarantees goals. There were doubts about Austin doing it at the top-level, but those doubts were blown away by his scoring record last season.
Prolific strikers are hard to come by at the moment, so for Southampton to bring in Austin for such a relatively small fee looks like a real steal.
There will be many fans of other top-flight clubs in need of a striker looking at this deal thinking ‘why didn’t our club make a bid for Charlie Austin?’ The likes of Norwich, Swansea and Newcastle could all use a striker like Austin.
Austin has recently returned to action after a month out injured, but he has still scored ten goals in 16 Championship appearances in another difficult campaign for Rangers. The striker has continued from where he left off from last season and no doubt if given the chance he will score goals for Southampton.
Austin was talked about as a potential England international last season and if he gets a chance to impress he may just gatecrash Roy Hodgson’s Three Lions squad for the European Championships in France this summer.
In need of another forward option
Southampton has some decent options in the likes of Shane Long, Graziano Pelle and the terribly unlucky Jay Rodriguez. Long has a habit of going on little runs of goals and then enduring goal draughts.
Pelle has proven to be a very good signing and a good focal point, but he has endured injury problems this season. The Italian has 18 months left on his contract and the Italian has been linked with a number of big clubs including Italian giants Juventus and struggling Premier League champions Chelsea.
Rodriguez has endured an injury nightmare in his Southampton career. The former-Burnley striker had shown so much potential in his time with the Clarets and was expected to push on in the south coast. Unfortunately injuries have hampered his Southampton career.
Austin will give Saints boss Ronald Koeman a very useful option for a focal point for the Saints. The side from the south coast have so much creativity in their team in the likes of Dusan Tadic and Sadio Mane, who will create chances for a striker like Austin.
Southampton enduring difficult season
Southampton are not having the greatest of seasons and are currently 12th in the Premier League table. They have often looked unconvincing this season and are now odds of 17/2 to finish in the top six, a position they were expected to challenge for this season.
The Saints inconsistent form means that their fans have not been in the best of spirits, so this signing should give them a lift. Southampton has developed a reputation in recent years for being shrewd in the transfer market and this deal just illustrates that shrewdness.
For the Saints to have signed a player of Austin’s ability for that fee is outstanding work from the Southampton hierarchy. This deal makes the accusation that English players are overpriced look erroneous, but the fee was obviously reduced due to Austin’s contract situation.
It is always difficult for teams to bring in players in the January transfer window that will bring any improvement to their teams, but Austin will definitely bring goals to the Southampton squad and team.
Will Charlie Austin be a good signing for Southampton?