The sale of Charlie Austin this summer was a move that has seemingly relieved a lot of pressure from both the club and it’s supporters.
The former QPR star had unspectacular time during his term on the south coast, with numbers from Transfermarkt showing that Austin scored just 20 goals in 81 appearances in all competitions for the Saints.
Indeed, his departure to West Brom was a much-needed personnel move for Southampton this summer, and Austin has spoken out for the first time about how the move ensued, and how Ralph Hasenhuttl made it clear that the attacker was not in his plans for the season.
The now Championship striker said to Stan Collymore on The Last Word podcast via Twitter: “I came in and they’re going on a pre-season tour [to Austria]. The board is on there with the names, and my name’s not on there.”
Austin added with: “A message comes through saying ‘you’re training with the 23s, and get changed down the bottom’. Okay, no problem. He [Hasenhuttl] must have thought I was a bad egg. He must have, he’s got 24 or 25 players. I might not be part of his squad”
The decision to leave Austin out of the squad was unsurprising to supporters, and the striker’s actions following the episode on social media painted a picture of a player that was keen to get out of dodge, and it goes to show that Southampton were conclusively right to sell the attacker.
The 30-year-old centre-forward, who is valued on Transfermarkt at £7.2m, has been underwhelming with his new club, scoring just once in six games for the Baggies as numbers from Transfermarkt show whilst Hasenhuttl has allowed the likes of Che Adams and Danny Ings to impress in the Saints first-team.
Austin’s time at Southampton was frustrating after impressing so much for QPR during a time that feels like it happened a lifetime ago, and these latest remarks show that the club were right to sell him when they did for the betterment of everyone involved.