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.

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • John D Williams

    I was speaking to a Barnsley fan this morning. He said he will not cut it in the premier next season. One more loan spell to see if he can kick on. We cannot afford to be sentimental next season.

    • Kazie

      I think if Rafa doesn’t give him a good chance then he should go out on loan to a good championship team that will offer him plenty of game time.

  • Alex

    He’s not going to make it with us – let’s get used to it. Free up the squad space, move him on and give him chance of a reasonable career elsewhere.

    • Kazie

      It’s sad Rafa doesn’t look much at him because honestly I think he would be a much better player and score way more goals if he was with us this season….

  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    we have 1 striker with pace, Armstrong has pace & guile put him on the bench for 6 months, then loan him out in January if he`s not making a contribution
    he`s scored as many goals as Perez in an inferior team to Nufc

    • Alex

      But, I think Perez won’t make it either. A 23, almost 24, year old should be ripping it up by now.

  • Geordiegiants

    Another Chopra, Brayson, type of player. It would of been nice to get a Geordie striker, but it’s not going to happen. Look at how old Rashford, Owen, Rooney, lindegaard, Martial, Gamez etc etc were. You either have it or you don’t.

    • Stephen Paylor

      Harry Kane was nobody and on loan in the championship at Armstrongs age

      • Stephen Paylor

        and scored less goals there than Armstrong just did too. They are almost 5 years apart in age

        • Geordiegiants

          I don’t disagree and I’m not saying it doesn’t happen, Vardy and Sir Les spring to mind, but it’s very unusual and time consuming, and football is the most unforgiving game where time is concerned.

  • 1957

    Sadly despite him having an eye for goal I can’t see him making an impact in the PL and especially next season we can’t give him games to prove himself. The fact he was loaned out this season means the coaches aren’t sure about him, I suspect next season will see another loan deal.

    We search for the next local centre forward but no one, with the exception of Andy Carroll, has made it. Chopra, Brayson and Campbell (a great finisher at reserve level) have come and gone and that will be Armstrong’s fate.

    • Alex

      You’re right about Campbell!

    • Kazie

      Stop speaking shit…Adam Armstrong will become the next big thing mark my words…Arma is our next star player…Rafa should’ve really used him this season instead of Mitro.

      • 1957

        Nice that you have so much faith, but I see nothing in his few appearances for us or his loan spell this season, as someone else mentioned he couldn’t get a regular place for Barnsley, to justify it. A good season in div 1 isn’t enough.

        I’ve seen the four I mentioned and Armstrong at reserve / u21 level and if you exclude Carroll who was a beast even as a boy, Armstrong isn’t the best of them. As I said in terms of a goalscorer, Campbell was the best, and overall Chopra looked most likely to make it and in fairness did albeit in lower leagues.

        I’m not saying he won’t make it simply the jury is out, if Benitez thought he could do it he wouldn’t have loaned him out, he’s more suited to our style of play than Mitrovic or Murphy.

  • Stephen Paylor

    He needs to stay on loan in the championship and ideally playing for a side pushing for promotion where he will get plenty of games and attempts on goal. Once he can hit 20 goals then he is ready to fight for a place at NUFC. Next year a loan to one of the clubs that fails in this years play offs or upper mid table would be ideal. No point in him being a squad player at his age

    • Alex

      Would the type of club you mention want an unproven 21 year old, who wasn’t a first choice player, and managed only 6 goals with Barnsley?

      • Stephen Paylor

        He has only just gone 20 in february, have a look what Harry Kane had achieved at the same age. Nothing, give the boy a chance

        • Alex

          He’s neither big enough nor strong enough. With his physique, you have to be absolutely exceptional at football, like Michael Owen (same height) and Wayne Rooney (1 inch bigger) were at that same age. And, Adam is no Owen or Rooney.

          Not fair to compare Kane, who’s 6′ 2″ – a big, strong lad!

  • MadMag83

    Seemed to be getting regular game time before January, then they sold that striker to Villa yet Armstrong hardly got a start which is worrying, perhaps the Barnsley coach didn’t think he was up to it?

    Needs to be starting games regularly next season, doesn’t matter if it’s a team at the top or bottom so long as he plays. Maybe loan him to the smoggies?

  • Albert Stubbins

    I think his next loan spell will be crucial in terms of where his long term future lies- he needs to be starting games for a decent championship side and scoring goals on a regular basis if he is to force his way into Rafa long term plans- a bit like Brayson for me- fairly quck and a decent eye for goal- unfortunately to succeed at the top level these days he needs to be very quick and posing a goall threat every game. Next season is make or break for him I feel even at the tender age of 20 years old- Good luck Adam- would be great to see a local lad putting the goals away although my gut feeling is it won’t be at Newcastle- I genuinely hope I’m wrong.

    • Burt Humperdink

      Man Brayson fell like a stone after his time at Newcastle. At least Chopra despite being a complete chavster moron was a decent Championship striker. I reckon Armstrong will become a decent Championship player at least. If he can score 20 goals in the 1st division whilst young he can probably score 15 in the Championship with a bit more know-how.

  • Burt Humperdink

    Would have been interesting to see how many goals he would have scored if he was given Perez or Mitro’s play time. Deffo a better finisher than either of them. Give him a season in the championship on loan and I honestly think he will do well enough to either be sold for okay money or get a chance from the bench the following season.

  • Mark Scott

    A striker like Arma needs service and chances, would have been good to see what he could have done given the chances missed by some of our more established senior strikers. Hopefully he gets a chance next season, I can see Mitro or Perez shown the door by Rafa in the summer to make way, but we do need another established striker in which then puts him down the order again. Tough call…persevere or loan him out to a promotion challenger in the Championship? At his age he should be playing first team football so it’s a shame he wasn’t given his chance this season…but I fully understand not wanting to risk it in a “must get promoted at all costs” season.

    • 1957

      Which is being followed by a must stay up at all cost season, Benitez won’t risk it.

    • Alex

      It’s not really that he wasn’t given his chance this season, probably more that he wasn’t deemed good enough to be given that chance. Barnsley have had him all season and have not considered him worthy of regular first team starts. As a very mid-table EFL club, that really tells you something. Sadly.

  • Kazie

    Can Arma play for us against Barnsley now?…And does he qualify for a medal when we win the title or the second place trophy.

    • 1957

      No to both

  • Phil K

    My guess is there’ll be a pretty big clear out, but not as many as we may think. And Ashleys hand on the purse strings will; be acted upon by other teams wanting Rafa – already West Ham want him. There’ll be others. Just be happy that one of them won’t be Sunderland !