By Will Butcher
West Ham fans have rued the club’s decision on Twitter not to sign Charlie Austin, after the striker inspired Southampton to a 3-0 win against the Hammers.
The 27-year-old took his impressive goalscoring tally to five goals in four league and cup encounters, after finishing neatly past goalkeeper Adrian from 10 yards after good work from left-back Ryan Bertrand.
The former QPR striker was also involved in the Saints’ second goal as they succumbed the Hammers to their fourth straight Premier League loss. His flick opened up the West Ham defence as Dusan Tadic raced through to double Southampton’s lead.
Claude Puel’s number 10 has been in fine form as the Saints’ attacking spearhead, which has even led to suggestions that he could be called up to Sam Allardyce’s England squad.
West Ham chairman David Sullivan famously claimed he rejected the chance to sign Austin because of the player’s apparent knee problems.
Hammers fans, who were unimpressed with their side’s display on Sunday, criticised the club for not signing Austin before the striker moved to St Mary’s Stadium.
Here are a selection of their messages on Twitter:
— Mr.HammerAtHeart (@TOLD_YA_SO123) September 25, 2016
— ⚒Hammer_Harris⚒ (@hashman88) August 27, 2016
— Ben Hartnell (@BennyHartnell) September 25, 2016
Charlie Austin needs an England call-up 👏👏
— Harrison Rand (@harrison_rand_) September 26, 2016
Charlie Austin has always been and will always be the real deal
— James Toner (@JamesToner10) September 25, 2016
Typical for Charlie Austin to score against #WHU
West Ham should have signed hin
— Jack the Scrivener (@JackKavanagh) September 25, 2016
@WestHamUtd we all know Austin is a major threat but look how much space he had
— jockney (@dmwalker70) September 25, 2016
But no David Sullivan, Charlie Austin isn't good enough is he, just scored against us and Andy Carroll is out injured still
— LK (@lukekidman2) September 25, 2016
Austin, who played for Swindon Town prior to bursting onto the Premier League scene with Burnley before moving to QPR in 2013, began his impressive streak with two goals against Sparta Prague in the Europa League.
The striker’s form has coincided with the Saints impressive winning streak, as they increase the pressure on manager Slaven Bilic. The Hammers now sit in a relegation spot, as they welcome Middlesbrough to the London Stadium on Saturday.
In other West Ham news, Chris Sutton has had his say on three big name West Ham players.