Player Profile - Charlie Austin

Southampton’s New Hitman 

Personal information
Full name: Charles Austin
Date of birth: 5 July 1989 
Age: 26
Place of birth: Hungerford, England
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 
Playing position: Forward

Club information
Current team: Southampton
Number: 28

Youth career
2005: Reading

Senior career
2006–2007: Kintbury Rangers - 28 Appearances, 21 goals
2007–2008: Hungerford Town - 37 Appearances, 11 goals
2008–2009: Poole Town - 57 Appearances, 64 goals
2009–2011: Swindon Town - 65 Appearances, 37 goals
2011–2013: Burnley - 90 Appearances, 45 goals 
2013–2016: Queens Park Rangers - 89 Appearances, 48 goals
2016– Southampton - 1 Appearance, 1 goal

Charlie Austin never doubted that he could succeed back on the Premier League stage after scoring the winner on his Southampton debut. Austin joined the Saints from QPR earlier in January and made his first appearance in their colours a memorable one when he scored the only goal in Saturday's 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford.
The 26-year-old rose from the non-league ranks to the Premier League with QPR, and he remained at Loftus Road after their relegation despite being linked with a number of top division clubs. Austin was called into Roy Hodgson's England squad last May for two matches, but failed to make his debut, and now says he can only wait and see if there is a place in the squad for Euro 2016 having missed time with a hamstring injury this season. Southampton signed Austin for a fee of £4 million, their first acquisition of the January transfer window.  QPR announced the deal and revealed Austin's contract at St. Mary's will run until 2020. Southampton confirmed the player has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal, via their official Twitter account. The 26-year-old forward, who had a two-and-a-half-year spell at Loftus Road, scored an impressive 18 goals in 35 Premier League starts during the 2014-15 campaign, but Austin has since been in and out of the Hoops' XI this season while edging toward the final months of his contract.  Despite injury setbacks, the striker has continued scoring at a high rate and netted 10 goals in 16 Championship appearances this season.

Austin arrives at Southampton after Saints boss Ronald Koeman admitted Graziano Pelle's place in the squad is uncertain, having entered the final 18 months of his contract. This move will allow Austin to once again battle for a spot in England's Euro 2016 squad, having received his first call-up toward the end of the 2014-15 season. The likes of Jamie Vardy have impressed in the past few months, and given Austin's status at QPR as a lower-league forward, he has fallen well behind in the pecking order. But following this transfer, the spotlight will once again be on the former Burnley man, who will be looking to make a big impression early and prove he's still worth a place in England's top flight. 

Seven years since he scored 46 goals in 46 games for Poole Town in the Wessex Premier League, Charlie Austin is sitting amid the well-appointed luxury of a real Premier League training ground 35 miles down the south coast and reflecting on the kind of doubting attitude he often encounters. The thing about Austin is that every time he has been required to go up a level in his career – and he has done that a lot – he has risen to the challenge, so he wonders why anyone would think it would be different this time. A £4 million signing for Southampton last Saturday, a snip most would say, he is back in the Premier League where he scored 18 goals for Queens Park Rangers last season and ready to face Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday. Austin is still abuzz with excitement about his new move. He has always sensed a bias about where he came from, and where he came from was Kintbury Rangers in Berkshire, a 16-year-old playing men’s football. By the time he was scoring goals at Poole he was also laying bricks for his dad’s building firm. He turned professional at Swindon Town and went to Burnley, then QPR and now Southampton. When Austin stayed put in the summer and went back to the Championship with relegated QPR, despite offers from Crystal Palace, he felt there were those who believed he had made a mistake. Southampton’s move this month, he says, proves that he was right to wait for the kind of club he really wanted. Austin scored 48 goals in 89 appearances for QPR.  

Austin’s goal-scoring exploits for his former clubs are very impressive and the Saints faithful can only hope he will just as good for them. He has proved time and time again that he is a lethal striker, whether in the air or on the ground. After Austin’s impressive debut for Southampton, he looks set to prove his doubters wrong once more.