Quick links


Charlie Austin is in red hot form and deserves an England call-up

Southampton's Charlie Austin celebrates scoring their third goal with Virgil van Dijk

The Southampton forward netted a brace on Sunday agaisnt Burnley and is on four goals for the season.

Southampton's Charlie Austin celebrates scoring their second goal

May 2015. After bagging 17 goals in a relegation campaign for Queens Park Rangers, Charlie Austin received his first England call up following an injury to Daniel Sturridge. In the same squad was Jamie Vardy, who had only scored five goals for Leicester City who had just survived the drop.

At that point you would have thought Austin would be the more likely candidate to kick on and become an England regular, but alas, there were no takers following relegation due to medical issues and the former bricklayer had to settle for life in the Championship until January, while Vardy is now on the verge of having a biopic made of his career.

Jamie Vardy scores the second goal for England

There has never been any doubt just how good a finisher the 27-year-old striker is, who burst onto the scene for Swindon Town in 2009, following a prolonged spell in non league. However, until now he has never been at a stable Premier League club and therefore hasn't had the opportunity to consistently shine at this level.

Yet indifferent form from Shane Long saw Austin get his chance and has scored seven goals in all competitions so far.

During the last round of international fixtures, the Three Lions looked desperately short of a real goalscorer in their squad. Daniel Sturridge is yet to hit his best form, as is Jamie Vardy. Wayne Rooney likes to play too deep and Marcus Rashford is still very young.

England's Wayne Rooney

On that basis, Charlie Austin deserves an England call up. No one else has that predatory instinct that was on show for the first goal, that he bundled home from literally centimetres out. His movement off the ball is truly first class.

Next month sees a very winnable fixture agaisnt Scotland in the World Cup qualifiers, followed by a friendly against Spain. There should be no risk in throwing Austin into the mix for his first cap. Not even for a pointless ten minute cameo; he should start.

Southampton's Charlie Austin scores their third goal with a penalty

We know what all the others can do and have seen them in an England shirt. Austin is a pure goal machine and should be allowed to flourish at international level.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch