Is Blackburn ace Armstrong ready for Premier League return?
With interest in Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong increasing with every game, is the Englishman ready for another crack at the Premier League?
During his 12-year stay at Newcastle United, England Under-21 international Armstrong struggled to make his mark in the senior team and he only made one Premier League start for the Magpies.
The striker, who turned 23 earlier in the month, had to settle for loan spells while with the north-east outfit, spending time with Coventry City, Barnsley, Bolton Wanderers and Blackburn.
Having impressed for Rovers in the second half of the 2017/18 campaign, the Lancashire side signed Armstrong permanently in August 2018 in a deal worth a reported £1.75million.
Former Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez had no regrets about the striker’s departure, insisting that the move to Rovers has proved beneficial for the player’s development.
“Sometimes you have to think about the best for everyone,” he said. “When a young player has no chance of playing too many minutes in the team it is important for him and everybody around him to realise he has to play.
“He has to play and compete, that is the only way he will improve and grow as a player.”
Armstrong has certainly excelled at Ewood Park since joining on a full-time basis and he has particularly caught the eye this season, chalking up 10 goals and seven assists in all competitions.
With Bradley Dack on the sidelines for the rest of the campaign, Armstrong has really stepped up for his side, firing the club to eighth in the Championship and just three points behind sixth-placed Preston North End.
It is now being claimed the Englishman’s former employers are interested in re-signing the striker in the summer due to growing concerns over the form of club-record signing Joelinton, who has scored just one league goal and has gone over 1,800 minutes without netting in the top flight.
Crystal Palace are also believed to be keeping tabs on the Chapel House-born star as Roy Hodgson, who witnessed the forward come through the England youth ranks while he was manager of the national team, looks to bolster his attacking options.
So with interest in Armstrong growing, is he ready for another Premier League shot?
Well, the simple answer is…yes. The striker has certainly benefited from regular first-team football and his all-round game has improved massively over the past season.
One question mark over Armstrong was his finishing, having looked like he was lacking in this department during his Newcastle career, but he has worked on this attribute at Blackburn and is very competent in front of goal.
The Englishman is strong, powerful and pacy, making him a good fit for any team, and he deserves the opportunity to prove he can cut it at the highest level.
Persuading Rovers to sell Armstrong, whose contract expires in 2022, will not be easy and it is thought a bid north of £10million will be required to acquire his services.