If there are two strikers who have had to work to get into their current position, then it’s Troy Deeney and Charlie Austin. The two have paid their dues in the lower divisions of English football at clubs such as Walsall and Swindon respectively and have rightly earned their chance to strut it amongst the big boys. However, despite not the most glamorous of footballing backgrounds between them, the two are currently the most feared strikers in the Premier League.
The question has always been with some strikers, can they cut it in the Premier League ? Many in the past have struggled to replicate the form they showed in the Championship resulting in some experiencing a massive fall from grace. These lads are the exception; scoring goals has proved easy for them. Not only that, but they might just be the most important players to their respective teams. Take Deeney at Watford. He has played 220 competitive games for the Hornets scoring 99 goals in a 6 year period for the club and is considered by many a true legend. He gives his all every week and is capable of moments of magic like his finish during Watford’s 4-2 win at West Ham. There was talk of him leaving Watford over the summer with Leicester interested and you can see why. A classic number 9 with a fine touch and brilliant finish to match and for Watford’s sake, you hope he stays fit this season because he will play a big part in any success they have.
Whilst Austin may lack the physical presence Deeney has and the status at the club, as he only has 14 senior appearances to his name, when it comes to scoring goals, there a few better than the former QPR man. Many forget that before his move to the South Coast, he had experienced a season in the Premier League before. It was with QPR only 2 seasons ago and whilst his team were relegated, Austin did everything in his power to stop that exact outcome. Managing 18 league goals in the 2014/15 season, and in a team as average as that QPR one, Austin received praise from many for his ability to score goals with relatively poor support from those around him. After their relegation, it was a shock no one made a move sooner but eventually he got his return to the top-flight and after a slow start, he finally looks like the striker so many teams have come to fear.
Austin managed 18 league goals for QPR during the 2014/15 season
These two are goal-scorers there is no denying it. Sadly their talents continue to be over-looked. Gareth Southgate’s squad was fairly similar to that picked by Big Sam only a month earlier and that is perhaps the problem. The strikers picked were Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney, Daniel Sturridge and Jamie Vardy. Bar Rashford, who rightly deserves a place in the squad, the other three are struggling for form. With only 2 league goals between them this season, you wonder what made Southgate believe they deserved a spot. This particularly applies to Rooney and Sturridge who can’t even get in their respective teams. I find it strange that two in-form English strikers playing week and week out can’t book a place in the squad. Surely if Deeney and Austin continue to net so freely like they are, it is only a matter of time before they get that call.