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Blackburn Rovers chief executive Steve Waggott admits he was disappointed to see Adam Armstrong turn down an “unbelievable” contract offer in favour of a move to Premier League Southampton, speaking to the Lancashire Telegraph. 

After one of the Championship’s most talented squads finished nine places and a staggering 20 points adrift of the play-off spots last season, it felt only a matter of time before Armstrong was packing his bags and moving on from Ewood Park. 

The one-time Newcastle United youngster scored 29 goals during a career-best 2020/21 campaign.

And, with just one year left on his contract, Blackburn had little choice but to cash in when Southampton stumped up £15 million for a player who would have left for nothing 11 months later. 

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However, a £13 million profit on a player snapped up on the cheap from St James’ Park failed to make Armstrong’s exit any easier to stomach for Blackburn’s chief executive.

Did Blackburn get a good deal when Southampton paid £15m for Adam Armstrong?

“We offered (Armstrong) a quite unbelievable contract to keep him as our top player, top goalscorer,” Waggott explains of a man who was also linked with Crystal Palace, Everton and West Ham United before replacing Danny Ings on the South Coast.  

“But Adam is ambitious. He wanted to go to the Premier League. 

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“I’ve known him and his family for many years and, once they want to move it’s difficult to keep hold of a player because, not that he did it, some players get demotivated and frustrated. 

“Once the decision was made he wasn’t going to sign a new contract, it was about seeing where we could get to in terms of generating income. 

“It was a shame to see him go but he’s gone to Southampton in the Premier League, where he wants to be, and the club has to move on.” 

Armstrong has scored just once under Ralph Hasenhuttl so far, capitalising on a Michael Keane blunder before finishing in style during Southampton’s 3-1 opening day defeat to Everton in August.  

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