The time is now for Celtic to ask the Stuart Armstrong question

By David Walton

August 21, 2019

Stuart Armstrong’s Celtic return would be a glorious way to fire a title-warning of our own this summer.

And, if the latest report is to be believed, now is certainly the time to strike for him.

According to the Sun on Sunday (18/08, page 61), Armstrong could look to leave Southampton on loan due to a lack of game-time. Armstrong came on for the final 22 minutes against Liverpool at the weekend. However, he wasn’t in the squad at all against Burnley on opening day despite being fit to feature.

Stuart Armstrong’s game-time has been limited down south (Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

It seems as though the Scotland international could be getting frustrated at St Mary’s. Last season, Armstrong did make 32 appearances out of a possible 43. However, only 20 of them were from the starting line-up.

At 27, Armstrong isn’t getting the constant first-team football that he could be doing with. It’s no surprise then that he’s reportedly open to the prospect of a move. Although Celtic should try and ask the question of whether they can nab him permanently.

Several questions that could halt Stuart Armstrong’s Celtic return

Of course, there are plenty of blockades that could stop any return to Parkhead for Armstrong.

First off, Southampton haven’t exactly dismissed the former Dundee United man altogether. He did play in their last game, albeit briefly, and was a regular part of match-day squads last season.

Armstrong had a major influence at Celtic during the Brendan Rodgers era (Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

What that could mean is that they have no plans on making a loss on the midfield man. Celtic sold Armstrong to Saints for £7million (BBC). You couldn’t see us going anywhere near that level of money to bring him back. But why would Saints be open to any cut-price deal? Anything less than £7m is pennies to Premier League clubs.

Would Stuart want to return?

There’s also the big question of whether Armstrong would be open to a move to Scotland. After all, it was always in his plans to go to England and try things out. Who’s to say he’s disregarding that plan just because he isn’t a key man at Saints?

Armstrong could easily head to a Championship club and try to work his way back into the Premier League. England remains a gold mine for talented footballers. It could be difficult to lure Stuart away from that.

Would Armstrong be interested in a move back to Scotland? (Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Then there’s the final question of whether Neil Lennon is even interested in bringing him back. There have been no reported offers or interest from the Scottish champions. Even though we should be looking for another midfielder, there’s been no progress on one. Or, certainly, none that has been made news to us.

A deal for Armstrong looks optimistic at best. However, if there was ever a time to try and ask the question, it’s most certainly now.