Southampton have signed Charlie Austin from Queens Park Rangers on a four-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee, estimated to be around £4M.
Austin arrives at St Mary’s after completing a medical and agreeing personal terms on Saturday afternoon, becoming their first purchase of the January transfer window.
Austin had initially said in the summer that he intended to stay with Rangers until the end of season, despite interest from a number of high profile Premier League clubs.
However the 2015-16 season has been somewhat turbulent for QPR. With Chris Ramsey being sacked and Austin being out injured for a large proportion of the season, the West London club have failed to fulfill high expectations and currently sit 15th in the table.
With Jay Rodriguez’s consist injury problems, Ronald Koeman admitted that the Saints would have to dip into their transfer funds to buy another attacking player. Austin’s arrival provides the Saints with a proven Premier League striker, with Austin having bagged 18 Premier League goals last season.
Sources inside Queens Park Rangers say they are looking for a replacement for Austin this window. However, fans are not happy with the club’s decision to sell. QPR season-ticket holder Sonny Delicata, who spoke to The Football Forecast soon after the deal had been confirmed, had this to say:
“I think the deal is very positive for Charlie Austin and Southampton. He deserves to play for a top premiership team through his track record of goals and his outstanding 18 goals in his first premier league season”
Upon being asked about the price he sold for, Delicata said:
“The price is a joke, personally I don’t know why they took and agreed £4 million, he’s worth more around £10-12 million. Even though it is very disappointing to let our star man go and it shows lack of ambition, it gives QPR a real chance to start again and get a young hungry player, that is not too big for the club and wants to score goals and help the team”
Regarding Austin’s replacement, Delicata said:
“We need two strikers. I would be very content with the rumours circulating QPR with Patrick Bamford and Dwight Gayle and possibly the return of Peter Crouch but we definitely need more striking options”.