Celtic must act if Southampton decide to loan Stuart Armstrong out

Stuart Armstrong of Southampton scores his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Southampton FC at Craven Cottage on November 24, 2018 in London, United...

Former Celtic midfielder Stuart Armstrong could reportedly look to leave Southampton on loan this summer.

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon  reacts during the Betfred League Cup match between Celtic and Dunfermline Athletic at Celtic Park on August 17, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

With Neil Lennon's men knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers and needing extra-time to see off Championship opposition in the League Cup, Celtic fans would be forgiven for wanting to see the Hoops end the transfer window on a high and make a big statement in the market.

Their task will not be easy with some windows around Europe already closed, but one report from the weekend should certainly catch the Bhoys' eye as it appears that a former fan favourite may be available.

 

The Sun on Sunday (18/8; page 61) reported that Stuart Armstrong could look to leave Southampton on loan if he is not going to play a prominent role in Ralph Hasenhuttl's plans this season. He played just 22 minutes of the defeat to Liverpool on Saturday, and was missing from the squad altogether for the opening day loss at Burnley.

Subscribe

It would be a surprise if the Saints were happy to let the midfielder leave. He enjoyed a promising first season at St Mary's after his £7 million move from Celtic last summer (fee reported by BBC Sport), and Hasenhuttl is not able to sign a replacement until January. 

Stuart Armstrong of Southampton during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at St Mary's Stadium on August 17, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom.

But if he is available, then the Hoops must act and attempt to bring him back to Parkhead. Even on a temporary deal, it would be the kind of move that restores a lot of the positivity that has been lost in the last week. 

Celtic are arguably stronger in the middle of the park than they are in any other position. But signing Armstrong would still be an outstanding piece of business, especially if Lennon can get the best out of him. He scored 17 goals in all competitions during his penultimate campaign with the Scottish Premiership champions. 

Stuart Armstrong of Celtic celebrates scoring his sides third goal during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Hearts and Celtic at Tynecastle Stadium on April 2, 2017 in...

It could be a move that suits both Armstrong and Celtic if Southampton are willing to let him go on loan.

Celtic would be landing a Premier League-calibre player on loan and Armstrong would be able to enjoy regular game-time with a club where he knows he can be a major success. If the Saints actually are open to a loan deal, Celtic cannot afford to let the opportunity pass them by. 

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch