Blackburn Rovers manager Tony Mowbray has warned reported Everton and West Ham United target Adam Armstrong about making a summer move to the Premier League, speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph.
If Rovers want to keep hold of their talismanic striker, they certainly haven’t helped themselves.
Saturday’s 5-2 thrashing of Huddersfield Town – a game in which Armstrong hit a hat-trick – was the club’s third win in their past 18 matches.
So much for the play-offs. Blackburn are 15th in the Championship and destined for mid-table mediocrity.
So who could really blame Armstrong, the one-time Newcastle youngster, if he jumped at the chance to make a name for himself in the top flight when the transfer window opens?
In February, The Sun reported David Moyes’ West Ham and Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton are weighing up bids for the £25 million-rated striker. Earlier this year, Moyes spoke to Mowbray directly, announcing his intention to buy the jet-heeled centre-forward (LancsLive).
But, according to the Blackburn boss, Armstrong should be wary of the risks that accompany a sizeable step up the footballing ladder.
“If, in his stomach, he wants to go and play in the Premier League and he wants to do it now, we’re not really in a position, financially, to stop that,” the former Celtic manager says.
“My advice to Adam, when I’ve been sitting down and chatting to him, would be there’s growth for him here. He has to ask himself, is he going to start in the Premier League, play all 38 games and score 20 goals in the Premier League, now?
“I would suggest, maybe not.
“My suggestion would be he should stay here, sign a good contract, enjoy playing every week, score another 25 to 30 goals and keep learning the game. He’s still a young lad and it’s not as if his career is running away from him and the time’s winding down.
“If Adam feels he wants to do something else then we won’t stop him. But while we’ve got him we’ll keep progressing, developing him and seeing where it goes.”
Saturday’s treble means Armstrong has now scored 25 goals in all competitions this season – a career-best tally.