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Stuart Armstrong Weighing Up Options
Monday, 3rd Jun 2024 10:01

Southampton & Scotland midfielder Stuart Armstrong is out of contract in a little under 4 weeks time, now he has a few decisions to be made, will he accept a new contract offer from Saints, or will he see his future elsewhere with interest from both Italy and a Premier League rival to Southampton.

Stuart Armstrong was a vital part of the Southampton squad that gained promotion back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

He started in 33 games of the regular season and came off the bench in another 9, indeed he would miss only 4 games of the 46, all coming in the last 8 games of the season.

But of course he would also miss the 3 play off games, with 5 goals and 7 assists though, there is no doubt that although he wasn't there at the end, he played as big a part an anyone.

Now he is about to come to the end of his contract he has to assess his options and according to The Daily Echo he has several potential suitors.

They say that the Scotsman who in his 6 seasons at St Mary's has made 214 appearances in all competitions and scored 25 goals is interesting UEFA Conference League finalists Fiorentina and also fellow Premier League side Fulham.

Not to mention the rumours that have persisted over the past year or so that he wants a move back to Scotland and his former club Celtic.

Russell Martin is said to be keen to keep Armstrong at St Mary's and the initial reaction from most Saints supporters would be to sign him up Asap.

But perhaps it is not quite as simple as that, although he has been a mainstay of the Saints side throughout his 6 seasons, in the League he has amassed 191 appearances and 21 goals, there is his age to be taken into account, in 22/23 season as Saints plummeted to relegation he was not a regular in the side, although he would make the matchday squad on 35 out of the 38 games, he would only start 14 of those games plus 18 off the bench.

With just 2 League goals and 1 assist in the Premier League he was not the influence on the side that he had been in previous seasons.

To reinforce that opinion, in 2021/22 his contribution was also fairly minimal, starting just 15 games plus another 10 of the bench, yes his season was interrupted by injury, but again just 2 goals was not a great return.

Yes he has just had a great season, but the difference between the Premier League and Championship is immense, so turning 33 next March, should Saints wish him a fond farewell ?

This will split the fanbase, there will be those that say that he can still do a job and should be offered a new deal and I can certainly see a lot of merit in that, he is a hugely experienced player and we need experience, but then again the evidence is there that it is 3 years since he performed to the highest level, can he recapture that form.

Saints have a plethora of midfielders, some like Joe Aribo who like Stuart had a poor 2022/23 as we hurtled to relegation, but who could perform in the the Championship, some like Will Smallbone whose 6 goals and 3 assist, is comparable with Stuart's, some like Shea Charles who will be looking to make this a breakthrough season and of course the returning Charly Alcaraz, whose surging style could well be the ideal replacement for the Scotsman.

So a difficult decision and one that has to be made without sentiment, whatever happens and to be honest i am comfortable with him staying or leaving, I am sure that we Southampton supporters will thank him for a great contribution to the club and wish him well in whatever he does next.

Photo: Action Images

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Jesus_02 added 10:17 - Jun 3
He was unhappy playing bit parts in our relegation season and his form was sporadic as a result. He is a great player and has been a great servant for Saints, however I think he may have run his course at saints. Fiorentina would be a great destination for him.

SaintPaulVW added 10:40 - Jun 3
If he's really looking at Scotland or Italy then he wants away and this is the ideal time. Football careers are short so you can't blame him.

Great player and will miss him but wish him well.



FMCG added 10:52 - Jun 3
Do we know if he has actually been a new contract?
That would tell us a lot.

IanRC added 11:07 - Jun 3
He is one of our few really creative players and I would really like to see him stay on. I think his link up with Ryan Fraser was a highlight. Either way a truly great servant who scored and made some memorable goals.

SaintNick added 11:49 - Jun 3
Russell martin has said he wants him to stay, but that is different from an actual contract on the table, what he might want to be paid to stay, might not be what we might want to pay him at his age,

A lot of mights in this post

Farlow added 11:50 - Jun 3
Regarding his last Premiership season he was beset by injuries. This year prior to his injury
was the fittest hes been for a few years.Would love him to stay but we,d have to up his wages and i dont think we will.

halftimeorange added 15:35 - Jun 3
Although he's injury prone, Stuart Armstrong possesses something that nobody else currently at Saints has, and that is the instinctive aptitude for splitting the opposition's defence with a single pass. Add to that his ability to test the keeper from dead-balls in the way that JWP or Rickie could and he is genuinely well-read, having a law degree. He's got to be worth a couple of years contract as not many have a CV like that.

Block8 added 16:10 - Jun 3
Lets be honest, if he stays he's not a regular starter and will play pretty much off the bench.
Much as I like Stuey, I think it's probably better for both parties for him to move on!

SanMarco added 21:38 - Jun 3
I like him but he is a bit injury prone. Perhaps it is time for him to move on as he might well not feature that much next season.

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