Season over for Adam Armstrong after picking up an award – What next?
Adam Armstrong will be just one of fifty thousand Newcastle fans inside St James Park hoping to see his team finish top of the league.
If Brighton lose at Villa Park then Newcastle need only a point on Sunday, whilst if Chris Hughton’s team get a point, NUFC will need a victory against Barnsley.
Now that his loan spell at Barnsley is over (Adam Armstrong can’t play against his own club), we all wait to see what Rafa Benitez does with the Geordie striker.
Last season saw Armstrong hit an impressive 20 League goals in 38 starts (2 as a sub) when playing for Coventry in his first ever full season of senior football.
Newcastle wanted to see him progress and try a loan at a higher level and so it was Barnsley in the Championship, though it was reported after the move that NUFC had limited the choice to the three teams promoted from League One, in order that there couldn’t be a situation of inadvertently helping a promotion rival.
As it happens, Barnsley briefly flirted with getting involved in the play-off issues before settling into a decent season which sees them 14th of 24 teams going into the final match against Newcastle.
As for Adam Armstrong himself, he has predictably found it tougher but still has had a lot of regular football. The striker starting 21 Championship matches and coming off the bench in another 13.
Whilst he hasn’t scored nearly as many goals as at Coventry, the six he has got have generally been of a decent quality.
In fact, Adam Armstrong was one of the Barnsley players presented with an award on the pitch before their final home game of the season last weekend. The on-loan forward voted to have scored the goal of the season with an outstanding strike at Preston earlier in the season.
Rafa Benitez will have a proper chance to look at Adam Armstrong in pre-season but the smart money must be on another loan spell.
One of the favourites for the Championship would be ideal, just so long as he is guaranteed regular football. Whether potentially a return to Barnsley on loan would be a possibility also remains to be seen.
The Newcastle Manager has to decide the futures of any number of NUFC players this summer, including many such as Armstrong who have been out on loan.
Whilst the 20 year old looks sure to stay on Newcastle’s books, we can surely expect to see a major exodus as a ruthless Rafa clears the decks for a go at the Premier League.
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