West Ham boss Slaven Bilic says that Southampton got a bargain when they signed Charlie Austin for just £4million in January, but insists that his side were never interested in signing the former QPR striker.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Bilic, speaking ahead of West Ham’s trip to St Mary’s at the weekend, was full of praise for Austin and praised the Saints for getting him for such a small transfer fee.
He’s a great player. He has proved himself – he’s not one of those who has only done it in the Championship. He did it last year in the Premier League, scoring many goals for a team who were relegated, so for that money, he should be a great buy. To add to that he scored the winner at Old Trafford in his first game, so it’s a flying start for him. It was a bit of a surprise that he went for that kind of money. In England, that is a small transfer.
The Croatian went on to say that the 26-year-old is certainly good enough to be a West Ham player, but he was looking for a different type of striker, hence why he decided not to pursue a potential deal to bring him to the Boleyn Ground.
He would definitely be a player with quality enough to play for West Ham, and for most teams in the Premier League. But we had different targets, we have really good strikers and we were looking for different type of players. That is the reason (we didn’t try to buy him), not his quality.
Instead of looking at Austin, the Hammers decided to bring Emmanuel Emenike in on loan from Fenerbahce, and the Nigerian international has been given a work permit and is eligible for Saturday evening’s clash with Southampton.
Andy Carroll is also fit and available after recovering from his hamstring injury.