Burnley’s Charlie Austin looks set to join Hull City’s Premier League second coming after the KC Stadium outfit agreed a fee with his current employers.
There is still the negotiation of personal terms to resolve and a medical to complete, but the deal looks likely to go ahead after Austin – who has just a year left on his contract at Turf Moor – informed Burnley that he had no intention of renewing his current deal.
It’s fair to say that the Tigers’ surge to promotion wasn’t founded upon an insatiable appetite for goals, as – despite finishing second in the table – they were outscored by all but nine of their 23 Championship rivals in 2012/13 and Austin represents a necessary addition in this respect.
Unsurprisingly that modest total meant some fairly modest contributions from their strike-force, all of whom were out-gunned by veteran Slovenian midfielder Robert Koren’s nine-goal league contribution.
In the meantime, Austin was blasting his way to third in the division’s scoring charts, pouching 25 goals in 37 league games and his knack for finding the back of the net could be of vital importance to the KC Stadium outfit’s survival attempt.
Last term’s goal-glut was no flash in the pan for the Hungerford-born hitman, who has notched more than a goal every other game during three campaigns at Burnley and another two at Swindon Town.
There is rich history of strikers who have honed their gifts on lower rungs of the Football League ladder making telling contributions in successful Premier League consolidation seasons for newly-promoted sides.
The goals of Kevin Phillips and Marcus Stewart boosted Sunderland and Ipswich well beyond the relegation dog-fight and in more recent times the contributions of Rochdale centre-forward academy graduates Grant Holt and Ricky Lambert did much to stave off a quick return to the second tier for Norwich and Southampton.
The player who was deemed too short as a Reading academician at the tender age of 15 has arrived in the Premier League by a circuitous route just a season after the Royals were relegated and Austin’s uncanny ability to find goal-scoring positions in and around the penalty area should ensure Hull are rewarded for their investment, which is believed to be in the region of £4.5m.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.