Adam Armstrong star man for England with goal, assist, and all round performance
Adam Armstrong is really looking the part for England.
Called up for the Toulon tournament, this is the Newcastle striker’s first involvement with the England Under 21 set-up.
Having represented England at every level below that and impressing…and scoring goals, he has moved seamlessly into this higher level.
In the first group game, Newcastle pair Freddie Woodman and Adam Armstrong played the full 90 minutes.
England went behind against China before coming back to win 2-1, an excellent low cross from the right set up Tammy Abraham for the late winner.
Tuesday then saw Freddie Woodman keep a clean sheet against Mexico, the game though ending in a goalless draw, Armstrong coming off the bench for the final 24 minutes.
Friday saw Woodman having a rest, with Bournemouth’s Aaron Ramsdale getting a game, but Adam Armstrong and Tammy Abraham recalled to start in the forward positions, the move paying dividends.
England hammered Qatar 4-0, with Adam Armstrong at the heart of most of England’s best attacking play.
The young Three Lions led 1-0 at the break via an own goal from a corner, then Leeds’ Ronaldo Vieira made it two on 53 minutes with an excellent finish.
Three minutes later it was Adam Armstrong on a run down the left and a superb left foot low cross, left Tammy Abraham with an easy finish very reminiscent to the one against China.
On 67 minutes it was the Geordie striker’s turn, he has already seen two efforts producing top class saves from the Qatar keeper, but this time there was no stopping him.
The ball broke in the box and Adam Armstrong whipped a glorious right foot shot into the top corner.
That looked to have sent England through into the semi-finals of the tournament, only for a late Mexico goal against China to send them through top of the group. The two teams having the same goal difference but England scoring one goal less.
There are three groups, with the winners of each going through to the semis, plus the best runner-up, so now England must wait for Saturday’s results to see if they make it.
Whatever happens, this has been a great tournament for Armstrong (and Woodman) already, and must give the 21 year old striker great confidence that he can progress higher at club level after loan spells in the Championship and League One.
Interesting to see whether Rafa Benitez will consider keeping him at Newcastle, despite previous press claims the manager was looking to sell him this summer.
England team v Qatar:
: 13 Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth). 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 5 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 8 Tom Davies (Everton), 9 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), 10 Ronaldo Vieira (Leeds United), 11 Adam Armstrong (Newcastle United), 12 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 18 Tom Pearce (Leeds United), 19 Edward Nketiah (Arsenal), 20 Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City)
Substitutes: 4 Lewis Cook (AFC Bournemouth) for Davies 45, 14 Jay Da Silva (Chelsea) for Pearce 45, 7 Kieran Dowell (Nottingham Forest) for Nmecha 72, 17 Callum Connolly (Everton) for Abraham 78
Substitutes not used: 1 Freddy Woodman (Newcastle United), 3 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur), 6 Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), 15 Ezri Konsa (Charlton Athletic), 16 Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City)
Goals: Ahmed og 36, Vieira 53, Abraham 56, Armstrong 67
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