PREMIER League teams would be “mad” not to consider a January move for Charlie Austin, says Clarets team-mate Brian Stock.
But the midfielder is banking on Burnley not cashing in on the country’s top scorer just yet.
For he feels that Austin is improving with every game this season, and that can only be good news for the play-off push that Stock believes they are capable of, despite slipping down the Championship ladder on Saturday.
Charlton Athletic became only the second team to take maximum points from Turf Moor this year, after the Clarets were left to battle for 75 minutes with 10 men.
But Stock believes the club is facing an even bigger battle to keep hold of a prized asset when the transfer window opens.
“I think they’d be mad not to really,” said Stock when asked if he felt top flight teams would be keeping tabs on the 20-goal top scorer, who has been on target in 75 per cent of his games this season, but not on Saturday.
“Obviously as a team-mate I don’t want to see him leave. The one thing I like about Charlie, yes he scores goals and is a match winner, but it’s his all round game; his hold up play, the way he wants to fight defenders.
“I’m sure those two (Charlton) centre-halves will have come off that pitch thinking they’ve been in one hell of a game against one striker up front – and he can take a lot of credit out of (Saturday).
“I’m sure there’ll be interest in him because you don’t score 20 goals and don’t get interest.”
Manager Sean Dyche has described Austin as a work in progress, and Stock believes he is improving with every game.
“Although he’s not scored and although we’ve not won the game, I was really impressed with the way he played up there on his own and he fought for every single and ball. You can’t buy that sort of attitude.
“Since the whole time I’ve been here, that was probably the best I’ve seen him play.
“If he adds obviously the goals which he’s already got to that performance then you’ve got a Premier League player.”
And Stock sees no reason why that can’t be with Burnley.
“We can definitely be pushing on for the top six, I’m adamant of that,” said the former Doncaster Rovers midfielder.
“I believe in every single player in the squad and I’ve seen some really good stuff. I’ve obviously played the game for quite a few years now and I’ve never been involved in such a united squad; the ability that goes with that leaves us in really good stead for the season.”