Southampton's Charlie Austin 'can make England's Euro 2016 squad'
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 29/02/16 4:15pm
Southampton striker Charlie Austin can still force his way into England's Euro 2016 squad, according to Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe.
Cherries manager Howe described Saints' £4m January capture of Austin from QPR as "good business", admitting he still rues failing to sign the former bricklayer in 2009.
Austin hit 18 Premier League goals despite QPR suffering relegation from the top-flight last term, and edged into Roy Hodgson's England squad briefly in May 2015.
The 26-year-old scored on his Southampton debut in the 1-0 win at Manchester United on January 23, and now long-term admirer Howe has tipped him to fire the goals to prove his England credentials.
"I still think he's young enough for England, and I still think the end of this season could be really important for him," said Howe, wary of Austin's influence when Bournemouth host Southampton on Tuesday.
"England aren't blessed with a huge array of strikers to pick from and I still think he's got every chance to get to the Euros. So the end of the season's going to be important for him.
England aren't blessed with a huge array of strikers to pick from and I still think he's got every chance to get to the Euros.
"It could possibly turn out to be a timely move. From his perspective he's got to stay fit and bang some goals in."
Only a transfer embargo denied Howe signing Austin for Bournemouth in League Two following a pre-season trial back in 2009.
Austin's 46 goals in 46 games for Poole Town the previous campaign had caught Howe's eye, and the Bournemouth boss later signed Austin in his stint as Burnley manager.
Howe revealed one crisp volleyed finish from Austin in Bournemouth training still remains fresh in his memory, some seven years on.
"It's good business for Southampton, they've done well," said Howe. "We were frustrated here many years ago when we tried to sign him and we were embargoed.
"But then I was fortunate enough to take him to Burnley. He was outstanding and scored a lot of goals there. Charlie is someone we admire greatly and he's a real goalscorer.
"So I think he'll do very well for Saints, supplemented by a very good squad around him and a team that will play to his strengths."