Opinion: Midfielder has uncertain future at Southampton, manager treatment to blame


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Opinion: Midfielder has uncertain future at Southampton, manager treatment to blame - initially posted on Sportslens.com

Stuart Armstrong finds himself on the periphery at Southampton and might be on his approach out in January in consequence. The 27-year-old has been in need of enjoying time underneath Ralph Hasenhuttl despite Southampton’s lack of objectives within the Premier League (eight video games, eight objectives), so it’s exhausting to see Armstrong staying at St Mary’s in 2020.

The Scotland international has made six league appearances this season, but they’ve all come from the bench. Armstrong has found himself behind Oriol Romeu, James Ward-Prowse and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg in the midfield pecking order whereas Sofiane Boufal has been most popular in a complicated position too.

Since becoming a member of Southampton from Celtic in 2018, Armstrong has made 38 appearances in all competitions, scoring and creating six objectives. He featured 29 occasions in the league final season but only lasted a full 90 minutes on three events.

And this season, Armstrong was unnoticed of the matchday squad in Southampton’s Three-0 defeat to Burnley (August 10), played for 22 minutes of their 2-1 defeat to Liverpool (August 17) and six minutes in their 2-Zero win over Brighton & Hove Albion (August 24).

He was left on the bench in their 1-0 EFL Cup win over Fulham (August 27), played for 19 minutes in their 1-1 league draw with Manchester United (August 31), five minutes of their 1-Zero win over Sheffield United (September 14) and two minutes in their 3-1 defeat to Bournemouth (September 20).

Armstrong was once once more an unused substitute in the EFL Cup as Southampton beat rivals Portsmouth 4-Zero (September 24) and played for 11 minutes in their 2-1 league defeat to Tottenham (September 28). He’s racked up simply 65 minutes of top-flight football and have to be contemplating his options.

The 27-year-old doesn’t seem to have a lot of a future beneath Hasenhuttl, so a transfer away in January may go well with all events.

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