Southampton keen on Blackburn ace Adam Armstrong
According to a report by Football League World (h/t The Independent), Southampton are interested in a swoop for Blackburn Rovers striker Adam Armstrong. The young English striker came through the academy of Newcastle United but was loaned out several times to clubs within England.
That came to an end once and for all after a permanent transfer to the Rovers in 2018. Since then, the 24-year-old has impressed in the Championship. He was in red hot form for Tony Mowbray’s team last season, scoring 28 times in 40 league games but is he a player that the Saints could use?
A potential shortage of strikers at Southampton
Southampton could find themselves in a really tricky position pretty soon. There is no hiding that Danny Ings is their main man. The former Liverpool striker has regularly started for them since his move from Anfield in 2016. However, the 28-year-old English hitman has stalled contract talks with just a year remaining on his deal.
The Athletic (Subscription Required) note that Ings is on the lookout for a move to a big club, with Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, and Aston Villa already showing interest. Any exit for Ings would be a big blow for Ralph Hasenhuttl. The situation is also complicated by the formation that the German uses.
The Saints play in a 4-4-2 set-up that relies on two centre-forwards, which immediately increases the quality and depth that a team would require in the striker department. Ings’ departure means Che Adams would lack a reliable partner going into next season. Shane Long already seems surplus to requirement.
The Irish striker was loaned out to Bournemouth earlier this year. Either way, he is very much in the twilight of his career. Already 34 years old, the former Hull City man is in the last year of his contract, and so is 21-year-old striking talent, Michael Obafemi, whose contract also runs out in the summer of 2022.
Armstrong would strengthen Southampton
A report by Chronicle Live less than a month ago also noted that Swansea have potentially rekindled their interest in the Nigerian-born Irishman. And that is why signing Armstrong would be a big boost to the Saints. Even if Ings does not leave, the club needs some competition in that department considering their aforementioned formation.
It would be wise to future-proof that area. Armstrong, at 24, is at an age where he is ready to play in the top-flight but also has enough years ahead of him to improve and develop further under Ralph Hasenhuttl. Dan N’Lundulu, 22, is clearly not ready to take that step up instantly.
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That is proven by the fact that the German did not hand even a single Premier League start to him last season, leaving him with less than 100 minutes of top-flight action. So Armstrong’s 28 goals in the Championship last season, while not reason enough to buy him, also shows he is capable of producing the goods. All factors considered, Southampton would be a stronger side with Armstrong in their squad.