According to a recent report from The Daily Telegraph, Aston Villa are one side interested in a January move for striker Charlie Austin. The 29-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League outfit Southampton and has done so since leaving Queens Park Rangers back in the winter window of 2016, although struggles for regular game time under new Saints manager Ralph Hasenhuttl has plunged his future at St Mary’s into doubt.
And a recent report from The Daily Telegraph suggests that Dean Smith’s Villa are one side eyeing up a late January move for the £9 million-rated hotshot (as per Transfermarkt), and were the Villans to indeed land the perennial goal-scorer, promotion could very much be on for the Midlands giants in the second half of the season.
Ultimately, it has been a difficult campaign for Villa so far in the second tier given they sit in tenth place after 28 matches of the season, albeit Smith’s side are just four points adrift of the play-off places to suggest that they are very much in the hunt for a Premier League return.
And given the first half of the campaign was far from impressive from the Villans, with ex-boss Steve Bruce losing his job to be replaced by Smith back in October, there is likely to be big expectation from the Villa Park faithful that their side can indeed improve their fortunes and secure at least a play-off place come the end of the campaign.
And with Tammy Abraham firing in the goals on a regular basis, helping Villa to a staggering tally of 53 from their 28 games, it looks as though Smith’s side will be taking it to opposition defences in the second half of the campaign – the fact they have conceded 46 goals underlines how vulnerable they can be in defence.
But with attack sometimes the best form of defence, and Villa very much as good as anyone in the division going forward, adding another striking hotshot in Austin this month is only likely to further aid them in their quest to return to the top-flight this season.
The 29-year-old may well have been struggling for regular football at Southampton following the appointment of former Red Bull Leipzig boss Hasenhuttl last month, but one cannot gloss over just how prolific the Englishman has proven to be down the years, not least in the second tier with QPR and Burnley.
The striker netted 41 goals in just 82 appearances for the Clarets between 2011 and 2013 to help Burnley record successive mid-table finishes in the Championship, before earning a move to QPR that summer, for whom he took it up another level with 17 goals in the second tier to help the Hoops win promotion via the play-offs in the 2013/14 campaign.
And he even shone in the top-flight in front of goal with 18 goals in just 35 games for the West Londoners as they eventually lost their top-tier status, only for Austin to remain with the club until January 2016, bagging ten goals in 16 Championship matches upon return to the second tier in the 2015/16 campaign.
And while he hasn’t quite shown the same level of proficiency in front of goal for Southampton, there is clearly a very accomplished striker in Austin just waiting to get back to his best form – and in a Villa side that love to attack and score goals, he could seriously flourish.
Ultimately, there is still much to be gained for Villa this term despite an indifferent first half of the campaign, and given the sheer amount of goals they have scored so far, their efficiency in the final third is likely to play a vital part in what success they have this term.
And adding the hugely prolific Austin, linked away from Southampton (as per The Daily Telegraph), this month would surely go some way to aiding their promotion hopes.
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