Adam Armstrong’s fine showing for Newcastle United could be enough for Alan Pardew to consider bringing the youngster into the first team picture.
In the week when much of the focus around Newcastle United has been on manager Alan Pardew, a positive display by several of the Magpies’ academy stars in the 3-2 extra time win over Crystal Palace went relatively unheralded.
Sammy Ameobi played the entire game while Paul Dummett continued his knack for scoring important goals with the winner for the 10-man Toon.
Both of those players have been knocking on the door for the first team for several months now but one man who emerged from last night’s encounter to stake a valid claim for more opportunities was Adam Armstrong.
Only 17, the striker beguiled his age to put in a solid performance against a fellow Premier League side that promises much for the future and should also have Pardew thinking more about the present.
A prolific goalscorer throughout his time as a youngster with the club, Armstrong has steadily improved since joining the Magpies’ ranks in 2006.
10 goals in 12 international appearances for England at under-17, followed by a further two in two for the under-18 would have scouts from the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United purring were the West Denton youngster from abroad.
And while he remains far from the finished article, there are some who would argue that the more regularly he plays for the first-team at this age, the more likely he is to develop the nous and know-how to thrive in the top flight.
On the evidence of his display against Palace there is certainly plenty to merit seeing more of the youngster in the Premier League, particularly given the other options available.
While Emmanuel Riviere’s two-goal haul is likely to see him in and around the first-team with Papiss Cisse, the likes of Ayoze Perez and, in particular, Facundo Ferreyra have so far failed to make an impact.
And if Pardew is keen to get the home support on side, he could do worse than giving a homegrown youngster more top-flight playing time.
Strong on the ball and evidently capable of bringing teammates into play, Armstrong did not look out of his depth against Palace and even came close to scoring a sensational goal, with a superb shot that forced a world-class save from Wayne Hennessey.
With goalscoring strikers proving hard to come by at St James’ Park, a move to get the 17-year-old playing more first-team games, most likely as an impact substitute, could prove to be beneficial to all concerned.
In a team that already has the likes of Dummett, Ameobi and Rolando Aarons fighting to start more regularly, while Newcastle’s new signings may be taking time to gel, the future certainly looks bright at St James’ Park.