We know this sounds a little bit out there, but in the next 250 words or so, we’re going to put forward a case as to why Charlie Austin might just be this season’s Premier League top goalscorer.
You can stop sniggering. We’re being serious. Sort of.
We know Sergio Aguero is the best Premier League striker in a generation, and Diego Costa is in rampant form, but hear us out.
The case for Charlie
The Southampton forward already has five Premier League goals this term, with each coming in the last seven games.
That’s a simple and accurate reflection of his additional gametime under Claude Puel, featuring for at least 71 minutes in each of the Saints’ last six league games, ousting Shane Long as Puel’s preferred striker.
And as the south coast club continue to find their feet under their new boss, Austin should reap the benefits.
Last season Harry Kane became the first Englishman in 16 years to top the Premier League goalscoring charts, and Austin sports a number of parallels with Kane’s predecessor, Kevin Phillips.
Both men started out in non-league football, and Phillips achieved his 30-goal record in the 1999-2000 season aged 26.
At 27, Austin is approaching his physical peak, just as Phillips was 16 years ago.
Both men are also born in July. This is clearly destiny.
But in all seriousness, Austin’s odds have tumbled from 66/1 to 28s since the season began.
The former Burnley man is only four goals off the pace, and as Southampton’s de facto striker now, should have plenty of chances to enjoy game after game.
And our closing argument is this; If he can fire in 18 goals for a QPR side which finished bottom two seasons ago, there’s every chance he can storm well into the 20+ mark in a very respectable Southampton side.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing