Chris Waddle says Charlie Austin isn't ready for England call-up

Three Lions Wembley

Former England international Chris Waddle doubts whether in-form Queens Park Rangers striker Charlie Austin is ready for a senior call-up.

Charlie Austin is the top-scoring Englishman in the Premier League.

He has found the target 12 times this season, for a Queens Park Rangers side that has spent much of the campaign inside the bottom three.

His work rate and finishing ability is now being recognised by a much wider audience, with England manager Roy Hodgson among those to take note.

Were he to carry his current form into the New Year, Austin would have every right to expect a first Three Lions call-up in 2015.

Is he ready to take that step up in class?

He is among the goals at present, but there have been plenty before him to take the top-flight by storm over the course of one productive campaign.

To be considered international class, does Austin have to prove himself over a prolonged period of time, and in different systems?

That is the view of 62-cap former England man Chris Waddle, with the ex-Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder of the opinion that Hodgson should continue to overlook the QPR forward for now.

He said in the Daily Star: “Because he's English and we don't have many strikers to choose from, Charlie Austin suddenly comes to the front. Even Peter Crouch is being mentioned again because he's been scoring a few too. But international football is completely different to the Premier League. The Premier League is 100 mph - it's backwards and forwards, like basketball.

"At international level, it doesn't matter who you play because even the weaker countries play a way we're not used to. You don't get thousands of balls fizzing in the box every game. It doesn't work like that. So you have to think can Charlie Austin hold the ball up? Can he link the play up? Is he that type or a get-the-ball-in-the-box striker?

"You have to give more than that playing for England. You have to look after the ball. Otherwise it's hard to get it back. Can Austin be that? Or does he need someone up there with him like he has at QPR in Bobby Zamora, who links the play up well?

"If England play one up front, he'll have to hold ball up more. Is that his game? We don't know because we haven't seen it yet. It needs to time to analyse that and see what Austin can do for England."

  GoalsTotal Scoring AttOntarget Scoring AttAppearancesMins Played
Charlie Austin 12 62 27 16 1,374

Austin is capable of leading the line by himself, and has shown that in the Premier League this season.

He is prepared to pull wide and create space for others, which could be useful as part of an England team containing the forward-thinking talents of Wayne Rooney, Raheem Sterling, Ross Barkley etc.

There is also an argument for calling upon players when they are in form to aid the international cause, with no-one saying that Hodgson has to commit long-term to a man who is experiencing life in the top-flight for the first time at the age of 25.

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