Newcastle United boss Steve McClaren has told The Chronicle that he is viewing Adam Armstrong as a contributor for next season - but isn't ruling out a recall this term.
Armstrong, 18, is Newcastle born and bred, and grew up supporting the Magpies before fulfilling a boyhood dream at the age of nine, when he joined the Magpies.
Over the years, Armstrong has gained a promising reputation, having hit 22 goals in 33 games for England at youth level, and he became a first-team player in 2014, before making 15 appearances for Newcastle last season.
This term, Armstrong has been farmed out on loan to League One side Coventry City, and it's fair to say that it couldn't be going much better for all parties.
Armstrong has smashed 13 goals in 19 games for the Sky Blues, earning rave reviews in the process - and prompting questions about whether he could return to St. James' Park.
With inconsistent displays from Aleksandar Mitrovic as well as an injury to Papiss Cisse, many fans have wondered whether Armstrong could come back to Tyneside and give the Magpies a boost in the final third, but it doesn't look likely right now.
Manager McClaren has told The Chronicle that he is viewing Armstrong as a player for next season, giving the biggest hint yet that the diminutive striker won't be involved with the Newcastle first team this season.
"Once we find out about Papiss then we’ll be able to go from there," said McClaren. "At the present moment, Adam is staying in Coventry and is doing very well. We believe he is developing."
"We are probably talking about Adam for next season, but don’t rule anything out. We’re assessing Papiss at the moment. He’s had one scan, but he needs a second opinion on another. The severity, and how long he’ll be out for, we still don’t know," he added.