Many football fans across the globe recognise the name Charlie Austin now, but it was only in 2011 that he was plying his trade in League 1 with Swindon Town.
However, in his debut season in the Premier League the Englishman scored 18 league goals which was more than superstars like Arsenal’s Alexis Sanchez, Chelsea’s Eden Hazard and Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney. Despite Austin’s outstanding season on a personal level, unfortunately for him his club QPR finished the season at the bottom of the table and were relegated back down to the Championship just a year after winning the 2014 play-off final.
Austin will undoubtedly have several Premier League suitors this summer and even earned himself a call up to the England national team, so here we see if any of the newly promoted sides have a striker in their ranks that has what it takes to replicate the goalscoring heroics of Austin.
Before joining Bournemouth in July 2014 and helping them to achieve their first ever promotion to the Premier League, Callum Wilson played his previous two seasons in League 1 as part of a five-year stay with his hometown club Coventry.
His rise up the Football League is similar to that of Austin’s and he enjoyed his best ever campaign in 2014-15, scoring 20 league goals as Bournemouth were crowned Championship winners. He went some way to proving his Premier League pedigree by scoring the winner in a League Cup victory against West Brom and his near unrivalled pace will pose a serious threat to even the best Premier League defenders.
Scoring in all three domestic competitions and finishing as Bournemouth’s top scorer in their historic title-winning season has caused a significant number of Premier League clubs such as Tottenham and Newcastle to sniff around the 23 year-old. To that point, it is rumoured that Aston Villa view Wilson as a potential replacement for Christian Benteke should the Belgian star opt to join a bigger club this summer.
With his phenomenal pace, willingness to run into the channels, high work rate and eye for goal, Wilson is becoming more of a complete striker with every game he plays and definitely has the potential to fire the Cherries to Premier League safety.
Many people believe that Troy Deeney deserves the chance to prove himself in the Premier League after lighting up the Championship for several years with Watford. Like Austin, Deeney has been a prolific goalscorer at Championship level and became the first player in Watford’s entire history to score 20 or more goals in three consecutive seasons.
Not only did the 26-year-old captain the club in a season where they had four different managers, but he responded to all the managerial mayhem at Vicarage Road by netting 21 times in the league as the Hornets secured automatic promotion even before eventual champions Bournemouth.
A few Premier League outfits including Hull and Leicester have had sizeable bids for Deeney rejected in recent transfer windows which is an indication of his value as well as the growing belief that he can succeed at the highest level. Deeney’s power and physical playing style along with his proven ability to find the back of the net with regularity mean that he’ll definitely make an impact next season under new head coach Quique Sanchez Flores and cause defences problems as Watford embark on their first Premier League campaign since 2006-07. Not bad for someone who was locked inside a prison cell less than three years ago.
Unlike Austin (until last season), Wilson and Deeney, Cameron Jerome has played in the Premier League before for the likes of Stoke and Crystal Palace. Despite never scoring on a regular basis in English football’s top tier, the 28 year-old Englishman enjoyed his best ever season in front of goal with 20 goals across the course of Norwich’s 2014-15 Championship campaign.
This included the opening goal at Wembley in a man-of-the-match display as Norwich impressively defeated Middlesbrough in the play-off final to earn a route back to the big time at the first time of asking. At 6ft 1”, Jerome knows how to effectively put himself about whilst bringing his teammates into play and the striker is blessed with both pace and strength.
His willingness to constantly press defenders will frustrate numerous Premier League sides looking to play out from the back and as we saw from his previous stints in the Premier League, he’s got the natural ability to score spectacular goals out of absolutely nothing. If he can combine his raw talents with the goalscoring consistency he showed last season then Jerome will have a good season back in the Premier League and Norwich could even establish themselves as a stable mid-table Premier League club over the coming years with the talented squad that they already possess.
Austin scored more than 55 Championship goals across the three seasons prior to his Premier League berth and who knows, in the not too distant future more of the Championship’s brightest stars like Jordan Rhodes, Patrick Bamford and Ross McCormack may also end up in the Premier League with an opportunity of becoming a recognised marksman at the highest level – an opportunity which Austin has taken, and which the three Englishmen Wilson, Deeney and Jerome must grab with both hands next season.