JACK Stephens listed a perhaps surprising name when asked if he ‘could have any former teammate return to Saints, who would it be?’ Admitting: “Charlie Austin.”

Stephens joined Saints from Plymouth Argyle in 2011 and has made 111 Premier League appearances for the club, so he’s played with a lot of the top players Saints have seen in recent years.

Virgil van Dijk, Sadio Mane, Dusan Tadic, Graziano Pelle, Morgan Schneiderlin to name but a few – by no means an exhaustive list.

The 27-year-old centre-back instead opted for a man who provided a handful of vital goals to the club, but never really hit the numbers that some others had.

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Asked who he’d pick when bringing back one former Saints teammate by the club website, he responded: “Charlie Austin. Just a great lad to have around the place.

“As a young player coming into the first team environment he was brilliant for me. He’s got a heart of gold, but yeah really lively character and just a good guy to have around.”

Charlie Austin played 71 times in the Premier League for Saints between 2016-19.

Daily Echo: Charlie Austin headed a debut winner against Manchester United in January 2016 (Picture: PA)Charlie Austin headed a debut winner against Manchester United in January 2016 (Picture: PA)

He did score a late winner on his debut against Manchester United but all in all netted 16 league goals in those appearances.

The 32-year-old hitman has played football for Poole Town, Swindon, Burnley, QPR, Saints and West Brom – and has made a return to the Rs in the Championship during the last two seasons.

His best year came in QPR colours, bagging an impressive 18 Premier League goals in a side that was eventually relegated during the 2014-15 season.

His best Saints total during a relatively injury-stricken spell was seven in 24 league games.

Since departing, Austin had become embroiled in a Twitter spat with Saints fans and accused them of not supporting the team "when they need a boost."

Does Stephens' selection surprise you or are you a big Austin fan?