Adam Armstrong has returned to Barnsley after Rafa Benitez decided not to include him in his Newcastle squad for the rest of the season.
However, the Geordie striker claims that this what he wanted to happen and that with both clubs wanting it as well, everybody is happy.
Whilst Dwight Gayle is out and out top scorer with 19 goals and the next striker only having scored three Championship goals (wingers Ritchie and Gouffran have four each), Adam Armstrong is honest enough to declare that ‘Newcastle probably don’t need me up there right now’.
After being on the sidelines for most of December the 19 year old is itching to get stuck in again, helping Barnsley into the play-offs and potentially helping Newcastle if Armstrong and his loan club can take points off the likes of Brighton and Reading.
Summing up the topsy turvy nature of the Championship, Barnsley had an early run of five wins in six league matches, then only one victory in 11, only to bounce back and get five wins and only one defeat in the last seven Championship fixtures.
This recent run has put Barnsley back to eighth and only two points off the play-offs, though with 38 points they are still 14 behind Newcastle.
After moving to Barnsley at the start of the season, it was revealed that Newcastle had only considered loaning the striker to one of the three clubs promoted to the Championship, rather than an established one who would be likely to be promotion challengers. Credit to the promoted club for the progress they are making and interesting to see what Adam Armstrong can do now he is fully fit again.
After 20 League One goals last season, he has only scored three Championship ones in this injury interrupted season, where at times he has also had to settle for a place on the bench.
Great though to see that he is still on an upward trajectory and potentially a Newcastle star of the future.
“This (staying at Barnsley) is what I wanted. This is what both clubs wanted as well.
“Newcastle probably don’t need me up there right now and I’m over the moon to stay here at Barnsley.
“The whole point of the loan is for me to learn and get more experience and to do it here in a great environment can only be helpful.”
“It’s really good in the dressing room. There’s just a real buzz around the whole place to be fair and I suppose that’s the case when we’re winning games. The boys are doing well in the league and we want to carry that on and see where it takes us.
“It’s been frustrating, I had an ankle injury and I didn’t really know when I’d be back because some days it’d be hurting and then others it’d be fine. It was one of those where I had to just rest it so it’s been frustrating not being able to train or play games. But I’m back now and I’m raring to go.
“When you’re injured you know others will get their chance and they’ve been doing very well for us but I know what I have to do and that’s put the work in on the training ground and hopefully get back in the side.
“It’s been a massive season for us so far, we’re 8th in the league and that’s surprised people considering we’ve come up from League One. Nobody expected us to be this high but we’re that close now to the play-off places that we have to go for it.
“If you don’t want to get into the top six then there’s no point playing football. We want to push ourselves and get as high as we can.”