Charlie Austin says his mind was made up the second he heard of Southampton’s interest.
The striker completed a move to St Mary’s on a four-and-a-half-year contract on Saturday, sealing a return to the Barclays Premier League.
Austin scored 18 goals during his first spell in the top flight last season, but despite plenty of interest from elsewhere, the Englishman knew Saints was the right step for him.
“I didn’t realise Southampton was an option until a couple of weeks ago, and when a club like Southampton comes in for you, it’s a real head turner,” Austin told youtube.com/southamptonfc.
“To be honest, I didn’t think I was going to move until the summer, but as soon as Southampton showed an interest in me, it was the one club I wanted to go to.
“If we could get the deal as soon as possible I was ready to go, and lucky enough it’s now and I’m delighted.”
Austin came up against Saints during his time with Swindon Town and says seeing the club’s rise and ambition – which has in many ways matched his – was a key factor in his decision-making.
“You see the progression from when I was playing for Swindon against Southampton back in League 1 five or six years ago,” Austin added.
“You just look at where they’ve gone from then – straight up to the Premier League, Europa League last season.
“So for me it’s important to come to a club on the up and I can’t wait to be involved. When Southampton came in it was a no-brainer.
“I think the last five years have shown the ambition the club has and I just want to be part of that now.
“I’m delighted to join forces and hopefully bring my quality into a team with a lot of quality players already here. I can’t wait to meet the lads and show them what I can do on the pitch.”