The Sun journalist Tom Barclay has called for Adam Armstrong to keep battling to earn a recall to Southampton’s Premier League starting line-up.
Having only missed 16 minutes of the first seven top flight fixtures of the season, Armstrong goes into Saints’ trip to Watford having been dropped to the bench for the last two encounters.
What’s the latest news involving Armstrong?
However, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl responded to the setback quickly by forking out up to £15million to acquire Armstrong from Blackburn Rovers and also secured the services of Chelsea frontman Armando Broja on a season-long loan.
Although it almost instantly looked as though Armstrong’s arrival would pay off after grabbing a debut goal in the opening day defeat to Everton, he has failed to find the back of the net since.
Despite the goal drought, Hasenhuttl defended the 24-year-old last month and backed Armstrong to be a prolific marksman once he fully adapts to the challenges of the Premier League.
However, the Austrian then made the big call of dropping Armstrong from his line-up for the Premier League meeting with Leeds United and admitted to making the decision after seeing the striker squander chances in recent weeks.
He returned to the starting line-up in an unfamiliar left-wing role as Hasenhuttl rotated his squad for the Carabao Cup fourth round clash with Chelsea earlier this week, which Southampton lost on penalties.
What has Tom Barclay said about Armstrong?
Barclay believes Armstrong did not help his chances of returning to the starting line-up against Watford by putting in a disappointing performance at Stamford Bridge.
But the journalist has challenged Armstrong to keep finding ways to impress Hasenhuttl.
Barclay told GIVEMESPORT: “He just needs to keep plugging away. He played earlier this week in the Carabao Cup game against Chelsea.
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“It doesn’t sound like he had the best of performances. I think he was deployed out wide on the left of a front three.
“I’m not sure how much that suits him, although I know he can play out there.”
Who stands between Armstrong and a place in the starting line-up?
Broja stepped into the void left by Armstrong against Leeds and took his chance by scoring what proved to be the winner at St Mary’s.
The 20-year-old also netted in last week’s stalemate with Burnley, so he heads to Watford looking to find the target in three successive outings.
A brace in the Carabao Cup thrashing of Newport County means Broja has already scored four goals in just 428 minutes of football since his loan move from Chelsea.
Fellow striker Che Adams also returned to the squad last week, making matters harder for Armstrong.