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Hands off Austin, say Clarets
BURNLEY are prepared to fend off all advances for Charlie Austin after it was rumoured Championship rivals Blackpool were plotting a £4million bid for the striker.
There was speculation surrounding the future of Austin after his two goals helped to secure a 4-0 friendly win at Cheltenham Town on Saturday.
The former Swindon Town hotshot has previously been linked with newly promoted Huddersfield Town, as an option to replace Jordan Rhodes should their star man move on.
But having already lost last season’s top scorer Jay Rodriguez, in a record £7million deal with Premier League new boys Southampton, I understand Eddie Howe has no intention of shedding any more of his strikeforce.
Austin was the club’s leading league goalscorer with 16 last season, and the Clarets boss believes the 23-year-old has an even bigger year ahead of him at Turf Moor.
“Like all young players Charlie’s had a first full year at this level last year and I think that will have done him the world of good,” said Howe.
“He had experiences both good and bad with injuries and the goals were obviously a highlight for him. But I think his all-round game is improving all the time.
“It’s his hunger – when he plays well you can see it in him.”
Austin took his summer tally to four on Saturday, and was unlucky not to complete a hat-trick of headers after getting on the end of good deliveries from Junior Stanislas, Ross Wallace and Kieran Trippier.
“When you get good delivery in the box then I think he’s as good as anybody,” said Howe.
“We’ve got two really attacking full backs in Kieran and Joseph (Mills), and Ross and Junior can both cross excellently, so hopefully we can give him a good supply.
“He was excellent,” added Howe of Austin.
“His attitude and commitment to the cause, you wouldn’t know it was a pre-season friendly, he played it like a first team game and that’s what I like us to do.
“He looks fit, he looks good. I don’t want to put too much pressure on him but he looks good.”