Speaking to the Daily Mail, Austin admitted that Phil Jagielka is the best centre-half in the Premier League, despite earlier praise for Gary Cahill and John Terry.
The hotshot striker said: “After we played against Chelsea the first time, I said Terry and Gary Cahill were the best defenders I'd faced. However, when we played Everton at home I felt for me Phil Jagielka was the best centre-half I've come up against this season. He was big, powerful, strong.”
That is big praise for Jagielka, especially considering the high regard in which Terry and Cahill have been held this season.
The Chelsea duo have been consistently named as the best centre-back duo in the top flight, whilst Terry himself has been winning consistent plaudits for his top level displays - despite being 34-years-old.
Jose Fonte of Southampton is another one who has been touted as potentially the best defender in the league, but it is Jagielka who wins that title from Austin - who has 17 goals in 31 Premier League games this season.
Jagielka, 32, has made 33 appearances this term, scoring three goals. He completes more than one tackle, interception and block per game, and his 10.2 clearances per game is the fifth highest in the entire division.
Jagielka may have come under criticism for some poor performances this season, along with the majority of Everton’s defence, but for form and consistency, there is no doubt he is still one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League.