Yesterday afternoon, Bolton Wanderers announced that loanee Adam Armstrong had been recalled by parent club Newcastle United ahead of the imminent expiry of his loan spell.
Given that this was a specific recall by Newcastle, this suggests that there was potentially a short period in which Bolton may have been given the option to renew the England U20 International’s spell at the club that wasn't taken up by the club.
Regardless of the relatively confusing end to his spell at the Macron, the decision is one which will be welcomed for both parties due to a combination of a continuous battle with fans favourite Adam Le Fondre for a place in the team and simply now being surplus to requirements.
Despite this, I am disappointed for the club and the player that the loan didn’t work out. Having showed massive potential in his previous loan spells at Barnsley and Coventry City, not to mention as an England International, Phil Parkinson’s ongoing team selection dilemma meant that Armstrong unfortunately couldn't be as influential or effectively utilised as both parties would've liked, especially whilst playing out of position.
Having therefore probably struggled to impress Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez with his form at Bolton, the inevitable reason for his recall will be to loan him out once more in a bid to help revive the spark in Armstrong and the ability that we so briefly saw when he managed to notch three goals for the club.
Irrespective of his blip at the Whites, Armstrong is still very much in-demand and has been chased by several clubs including previous promotion rivals Bradford City. However, with their probable financial incapability to match Armstrong’s and Newcastle’s wage demands for his services, a move across the pennines now seems unlikely.
Subsequently, League One promotion chasers and local rivals Blackburn Rovers now look set to sign the pacy forward on loan for the remainder of the season.
They’ll hope that in making a swoop for the youngster, he’ll be able to play a hugely influential role in their fight to bounce straight back up to the Championship after a disastrous end to last season.
Having proven more than capable at such a level in previous loan spells elsewhere, Armstrong could be a really good signing for Blackburn, should he be played in position and off another striker if possible, i.e. Danny Graham.
As a player who you can tell is a natural goalscorer and one who was worked with Rovers manager Toby Mowbray before, a move down the road could be for the best and just what, both Blackburn and Armstrong, need.
Again, it’s a shame that the young Geordie’s time at the club hasn't worked out and was consequentially cut short. From all of us at Bolton, we wish him the best in his future endeavours, wherever he may end up.