This striker only spent 274 minutes on the pitch for Newcastle United, but he has developed into a rising star in the last two seasons.
Questioning whether or not former Newcastle United players should have been let go sparks an interesting debate among fans. It is almost always a “yes, we should have let him go”, or “no, they deserved more opportunities”, and there are hardly any fans on the fence.
This editorial will focus on a former player, but not the specific question mentioned above. Instead, a new question will be raised: should Newcastle United pursue a reunion with Adam Armstrong? Some of you are probably rolling your eyes reading that question, but it is one worth thinking about.
In my opinion, the answer to that question is yes. Armstrong’s development over the last two seasons at Blackburn Rovers has impressed many neutral fans and pundits across England. Before we look at his numbers today, let’s hit rewind and refresh our memories of his time on Tyneside.
Armstrong is one of the youngest players to ever make their Premier League debut as a 16-year-old during the 2013-14 campaign, a season in which he made four appearances for the Toon. The following season, Armstrong made 11 league appearances with Newcastle United, which includes one start.
It is worth noting that Armstrong only played 211 minutes in those 11 games, and his total game time in the black and white stripes amounts to 274 minutes, which equates to just over three full games. So, how much of an impact was he expected to have? The fact that he has two assists to his name with such limited opportunities alone is impressive.
Top Striker Today
Fast-forward to today and Armstrong is the top scorer in the Championship with 11 goals in 10 games, and another former Magpie, Ivan Toney, who now plays for Brentford, is right behind him with 10 goals. This is the second consecutive season that Armstrong has scored in double figures. Blackburn’s main man finished last season with 16 goals, and he also completed six assists to take his overall goal contribution tally to 22.
After seeing these statistics, some fans will still stick with the argument that these numbers are meaningless because the goals were scored in the second tier of English football against weaker opposition. On one end, that statement is true, but on the other end the statistics are not meaningless.
Newcastle United are just unlucky when it comes to their players performing well in the Championship, but struggling in the top flight, such as Dwight Gayle. Gayle is proving to be an outlier in terms of players who were scoring machines in the Championship, but mediocre in the Premier League.
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Just look at the impact Ollie Watkins, Patrick Bamford, Teemu Pukki, and others are having, or had, in the Premier League after coming up from the Championship. Jarrod Bowen is another player from the Championship who is on track to having a big season for West Ham.
Can someone honestly make the argument for Yoshinori Muto, Joelinton, or Andy Carroll being better strikers than Adam Armstrong at this point? No. Armstrong is playing extremely well, and his best years are still ahead of him.
In my opinion, Armstrong would provide reliable support for Callum Wilson, and he could possibly overtake Miguel Almiron as the number ten. He is just as skilled on the ball, is more aggressive, and has an eye for goal.
Some of you might agree with me, but I already know some of you are shaking your heads. That is fine. Supporters of a club do not always have to agree on every topic, but feel free to share your thoughts on this proposal in the comments section below.