Arsene Wenger believes it is down to Charlie Austin’s “mental strength and tenacity” that the Queens Park Rangers striker has taken to the Premier League so rapidly.
Austin, 25, who has scored 11 goals in the Premier League this season, began his career at North Berkshire Division One side Kintbury Rangers in 2006, spending the next three years playing Non-League football.
He was then picked up by Swindon Town and later Burnley, before switching to QPR in the Championship and moving with them into the top flight.
He has adapted to life in the Premier League remarkably well, with his latest performance bringing a match-winning hat-trick against West Brom on Saturday.
Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s Boxing Day clash with QPR, Wenger spoke highly of the striker.
“It’s good to see that an English striker who had played in the lower divisions has managed to come up,” the Arsenal boss said.
“That shows mental strength and tenacity – and that is important at the top level.
“It could bring on the idea that there could be other players down there who are good enough to come up to the Premier League but don’t get a chance.”