Southampton fans who were nipping into the Tavern before their game against West Brom were shocked but delighted to hear that their club have signed Charlie Austin in a £4 million switch.
The 26-year old has moved to St Mary’s on a four-and-a-half year deal after he successfully completed his medical and will wear the number 28 jersey.
The former Burnley striker’s contract was set to expire in the summer and Southampton are believed to have swooped in ahead of rivals Newcastle to complete his signing.
Austin scored 18 Premier League goals last season, earning an England call-up in the process, though QPR were ultimately relegated.
And the Englishman has continued his impressive form in the Championship, having netted 10 goals in 16 appearances this term.
Les Ferdinand, QPR’s director of football, claimed that the club’s decision to allow their forward to depart Loftus Road was ‘made in the best financial interests of the club’ as he would otherwise have been able to join another club for free in the summer.
Meanwhile, Saints’ executive director of football, Les Reed, stated: “This signing is an indicator of our intent to finish the season strongly and continue the progress we’ve made in the last few years.
“Charlie shares that ambition. He has a fantastic goalscoring pedigree, but remains hungry to improve and develop as a footballer – something that convinced him that Southampton is the ideal next step in his career.”
Despite the fact that there were seemingly no signs in the media of a move to the Saints, Austin admitted that he was keen on a move to Southampton as soon as they demonstrated an interest.
“As soon as Southampton showed an interest that was the one club I wanted to go to. You see the progression from when I was playing against Southampton for Swindon. For me, it was important to come to a club that’s on the up and that’s what I’ve got here.”
Meanwhile, our resident Newcastle fans will be devastated that their club has missed out on signing a proven Premier League goalscorer who they have been linked with for weeks.
Southampton fans, how influential could Austin be as you look to push on with your season? Let us know in the comments below!