FORMER Claret Jay Rodriguez is confident that top scorer Charlie Austin won’t be distracted by speculation linking him with a move.
The 23-year-old, who is out of contract in 2014, has been scouted by a number of Premier League clubs this season, with interest only expected to grow as he sits ahead of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the top of Europe’s goal charts.
But Rodriguez revealed that Austin is too level-headed to get carried away by any transfer talk, and believes his old strike partner will keep doing the business for Burnley. “I don’t think he will let anything bother him, apart from looking forward to the next game,” said Rodriguez ahead of the Clarets’ game at Ipswich this afternoon.
“I’m sure he won’t be thinking about any speculation.
“He will be concentrating on the team he is playing for and trying to score as many goals as he can.
“It’s a great achievement to get 20 goals so far – the quickest in the club’s history – and it would be brilliant for Burnley if they can keep him.”
Rodriguez left his hometown club to join Southampton in a club record £7million move in the summer, after ending the season with 21 goals.
Austin was close behind on 17, after a brief mid-season spell on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
His late winner against Leeds United on Tuesday made him the quickest Claret to reach 20 goals in a season.
And Rodriguez has backed him to break even more Turf Moor records.
“He is a natural finisher,” said the 23-year-old.
“He is getting great service from the lads too, but he just knows where to go in the box.
“He will always have at least one chance to score in a game.
“He is a top finisher – the best I’ve played with – and he is proving himself in the Championship week in week out and scoring almost every game.
“I’m really happy for him.
“He is showing how good he is. He did it every day in training but on matchdays it's a lot harder to score than it is on the training pitch, especially in the Championship because it's a difficult league with some great teams in there.
“But I'm not surprised that his standards on the training ground are transferring onto the pitch.
“You almost take it for granted now that he's going to score.
“He is a great goalscorer and deserves the success he's having now.”
Rodriguez added: “He’s a top lad and I’m just really happy he is scoring and doing well for Burnley, because that means he is helping the team too and it’s great to see them doing well at the moment.
“I hope that carries on and that Charlie breaks even more records.”