Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City have all been struggling with goals at various stages over the season in the league or the European competitions and have struggled to impress in so far as they look devoid of ideas when they faced with stubborn and physical opposition like Stoke who have beaten all but Liverpool amongst the said teams.
Chelsea have been relying heavily on Costa and Fabregas for their goals or else they simply look at Eden Hazard to bail them out. With neither options feasible over the course of the season until Costa’s re-emergence, it should have been a priority for Chelsea to sign a striker who can promise goals and has been relatively injury free over the past.
Manchester United have been disappointing in attack and have looked like Arsenal of yesteryears as they simply rack up meaningless possession in the opponent half only to concede to counters. With Martial the only player likely to score, Manchester United should have made a striker a sure shot target to help out the ageing Rooney and the young Martial in their struggles for the quest of goals over the season.
Manchester City must have been made of two teams. One is when they have Aguero, in which case they can beat anyone. Other when they don’t have the Argentinean when they look like a mid-table team with a bunch of also-rans. With such a pathetic backup for Aguero, a striker was a logical signing.
Arsenal and Liverpool have been much better at scoring with both teams having enough creativity to outweigh the average-Joe performance from their striker but if they truly aspire to be a force, relying solely on the talents of Ozil or Coutinho must be a resolute no-no.
In such circumstances, watching an Englishman named Charlie Austin who had plied his trade for perennial Premier League strugglers, Queens Park Ranger, go to Southampton for a cut-price fee of 4 million is simply astonishing.
The fact that English strikers are on the rise in the Premier League with players like Vardy, Sturridge and Berahino spelling danger with every attempt, it is a real quandary to see a player like Austin going for such a cheap price especially after he has proven his class in the top division with 18 goals in 35 appearances over the course of an ultimately disappointing season for the Rangers.
Even in the current season in the Championship, he has already amassed 10 goals in 16 matches for the R’s and has been a source of inspiration for the London club who had all but resigned their fate regarding the Premier League in their short stay at the top of the English footballing pyramid.
All the 18 goals in the bag for Austin came at a time when QPR had been playing the kind of football more reminiscent of a League 2 side instead of a top division one. It came on the back of no real creators at the club with players like Adel Taarabt bailing out on the capital club in their state of misery. It came with shots rifling right into the top or bottom corners and had hints of genius with a couple of wonder goals in his bag. Such an eye for goal is not incidental and requires loads of talent as well as hard work to acquire over a career.
Also, the fact that he will be considered a homegrown player in all the squad selection criteria makes hi irresistible for teams like Chelsea and Manchester City who had been contending with a reduced squad of 22-23 men instead of the full 25 due to being handicapped with the rules regarding such talent development initiatives.
With Southampton again displaying an exceptional eye for talent and continuing to be a role model for the other Premier League sides in terms of management of a club, it is a move which will definitely bring great rewards at the South Coast. The player can be considered another trademark and astute Saints’ signing.
With the player raring to go and ready to feature against the top sides in England yet again, it will be a half season of regret for the Premier League giants who have clearly missed out on a gem. St. Mary’s will be a happy hunting ground for the Englishman who will definitely have earned his payday of over 100,000 pounds a week if he manages to recreate half the form he displayed during his time back at London.