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Adam Armstrong in the ascendancy – England boss says he’s been best player at Toulon tournament

12 months ago
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It is a funny old game and Adam Armstrong has been on a rollercoaster ride in his career already.

When you look back, one of Alan Pardew’s many mad decisions was to throw Adam Armstrong in for his first ever Premier League start at Old Trafford.

Only 17, he did ok, Newcastle losing 3-1 eventually to Man U on Boxing Day 2014.

Then at Coventry, in his first ever full season of football at the age of 18, he scored 20 League One goals when on loan.

As a 19 year old he had an ok kind of season of some progression when on loan in the Championship with Barnsley and scoring six league goals.

Aged 20 he joined a struggling promoted Bolton side and was played out of position on the left wing and then dropped, with only one Championship goal in five months.

However, he finished the season strongly and the now 21 year old Geordie striker scored nine more League One goals in just over three months, to help Blackburn back into the second tier.

Right up until last summer, Adam Armstrong also saw his career progression underpinned by going through the different England age groups, scoring goals at every level.

That plateaued though last summer when he and Freddie Woodman helped England win the Under 20s World Cup.

The step up to the Under 21s is a massive one and until now it hadn’t happened.

However, England Under 21 boss, Aidy Boothroyd, changed all that for this summer’s Toulon tournament and isn’t regretting it.

Boothroyd acknowledges that the Newcastle striker had found his England ‘pathway blocked’ but that despite that, Armstrong ‘could not have been more enthusiastic’ once given the chance.

With a goal and two assists in two starts at group level, the England Under 21 boss goes so far as to say ‘He has probably been our best player at the tournament and I cannot speak highly enough of him.’

England are going for a hat-trick of Toulon tournament wins and Adam Armstrong is surely set to start tomorrow when they play their semi-final against Scotland, playing alongside Tammy Abraham they have looked a dangerous combination,

Good luck to England and especially Adam Armstrong and Freddie Woodman.

Aidy Boothroyd

“He has found his pathway blocked at this level, but when I called him to ask him to come and play here, he could not have been more enthusiastic.

“It has probably been frustrating for him, not getting picked for squads, but he has come in and done brilliantly.

“He has probably been our best player at the tournament and I cannot speak highly enough of him.

“We’ve got a number of new players who have emerged at this tournament and they will be putting pressure on the more established names in the squad, and that is precisely what we want.”


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