Stuart Armstrong was arguably one of Celtic’s best players during the Brendan Rodgers era before joining Southampton in the summer of 2018 – and now Neil Lennon may have the chance to bring him back to Parkhead.
The 27-year-old joined Southampton for £7million (BBC Sport) from Celtic a year ago, after starring in his three and a half years at Parkhead. He helped Celtic win four Scottish Premiership titles, and eight trophies in total.
Indeed, Armstrong scored 28 goals and laid on another 25 during his 144 appearances. His best campaign came in Rodgers’ first season – 2016-17 – where the 14-time Scotland international netted 17 goals in 47 games. He also created seven assists.
Now, Celtic could have a chance to re-sign the midfielder. Armstrong played 33 times for Southampton last season and scored four goals, but it appears that Ralph Hasenhuttl could be willing to loan him out – he has only played once this term.
The Sun on Sunday (18/8; page 61) reported that Southampton are willing to let Armstrong leave the club on loan, and with the English transfer window closed, a return to parkhead for Armstrong seems the obvious choice if Celtic can afford a loan fee.
Celtic do have plenty of options in midfield but it was clear to see that Lennon wanted to bring in a midfielder who could score goals this summer. A move for David Turnbull failed at the last minute, though Ryan Christie has been in super form.
What makes the move an absolute no-brainer, though, is that the calibre and player such as Armstrong would renew the optimism and energy around Parkhead. Optimism is low right now, after a Champions League exit and a lack of signings.
But the return of former Dundee United star Armstrong would certainly end the negative taste, and push Celtic a massive step towards nine in a row come May 2020. One obstacle, though, could be Armstrong’s £50,000-a-week wages (Spotrac).