Armstrong On The Way

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Stuart Armstrong in action for Dundee United

The news from Celtic Park today is that we appear to be on the verge of ending a two year transfer pursuit with the signing of Scotland’s hottest domestic produced player, Stuart Armstrong.

As regular readers know I would consider this a great signing, the kind of signing that would make us a far stronger side.

I don’t know about the Thomas Muller comparisons – indeed, I don’t recall Deila making that statement – but he’s a fine footballer with a good brain and who can play in various positions across the midfield or behind the front men.

Armstrong is also a natural leader, as evidenced by his appointment as captain of the Scotland Under 21’s.

Scott Brown signed a new deal last year, and that was welcomed because our team does not look the same without him in it. Stuart Armstrong would give us options beyond the immediate horizon, including an answer as to who Scott’s long term replacement is, down to who wears the armband.

£2.5 million is a lot of money. But it’s a small price to pay for the kind of quality we’re getting here. Frankly, this is one of those zero risk signings, in stark contrast to some of those we’ve seen in the past few years. Ronny has watched the player at close quarters, as we all have, over the last couple of years.

We know what we’re getting. We know he can handle this league and works hard in a team.

The X Factor, of course, is what will happen when he has to step it up on the bigger stage. There’s no way to know that until he actually does it, as there’s no way to know how Gary Mackay Steven will function in Europe until he’s there. Time will tell, but both are experienced players, and they should fit right into the Celtic team with ease.

There’s still work to be done during this window, but if we complete this signing then Ronny Deila’s team shape is becoming clear, and I am impressed by the nature of the project. If we do keep our current players, at least until the end of the window, then I’ll be broadly satisfied with the progress, although I’d like to see us bring in a quality finisher, especially as Guidetti no longer looks like he’ll be hanging around.

Kris Commons is probably not going to be here next season, so goals from midfield will be a must. Armstrong doesn’t have a great scoring record, but Commons didn’t either before arriving at Celtic Park, but found a style and position that suited him.

Deila knows what he wants by now. He knows where Armstrong fits in.

Inter Milan will not be quaking in their boots … but this signing is for the long term. When Ronny has the players he wants, playing the way he wants, then we may well find ourselves back where we belong, giving these teams a game and restoring our European reputation.

I hope we get this one over the line quickly.

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  • Mike Bhoyle says:

    Good news…and well written piece…
    PS:Still very annoyed we didn’t sign Robertson.

  • gerard keatings says:

    Love the blog mate keep up the good work. Do you think that this will go through?

  • BastilleBhoy says:

    Delighted if we get him. The club should pay the £200K to get GMS this month as well. Get both these guys in the team as soon as possible.

    In my opinion, most of our transfer business should be done in this transfer window.

    Ronny should get his team sorted and ready now for the early european qualifiers.

    However, I still want to see more of our young players getting a chance. Too many over-priced foreign diddies have been bought in recent years.

  • Ryan Malone says:

    According to Tranfer Markt Armstrong has played 18 games in the SPFL this season, scored 5 and assisted for 6. That’s very good going!

    A goal every 262 minutes played (one every 2.91 games)
    An assist every 218 minutes played (one every 2.42 games)
    Or a direct contribution to a goal every 119 minutes played (made a goal every 1.32 games)…

    Not too shabby for a 22 year old.

    In contrast GMS has played 19 (less minutes on the park though) scored 5 and created 8…

    That’s a goal every 258 minutes and an assist every 161 or a direct part in a goal every 99 minutes.

    They will both get and create similar numbers of goals and last season they both had a part in a goal every 2 games which isn’t bad either, and hopefully shows they are improving.

  • Paul O'Donnell says:

    A great signing if it comes off you know what you are getting as for Robertson we may get him yet but we have got Izzaguire

    • craig gallagher says:

      I’d take a punt on Cifci as well to add to GMS & Armstrong he’s only young as well & would score a shitload with Griffiths up front & wouldn’t cost a lot of money, so why not!

  • Janey Morrison says:

    Would love this to happen the young Scott brown imo ????????????

  • fergy bhoy says:

    very good article, am liking the approach ronny is taking to this transfer period the arrival of GMS and potentialy Armstrong gives me much more hope for the future than any obscure european signing we are used to who at some point may have dubbed the next big thing only to fall to the sides of some weak earopean such as Ajax in the case of boerigter. Keep it going Ronny,

  • Jimmy Mccairn says:

    Good news on the 2 new signings but I don’t believe Delia ,who says he needs a goal scorer pushed hard enough for gudettis signature

  • fraz says:

    Good piece , fair and not having a go at the club or management. Hope the boy gets time to settle, great he has done an apprenticeship elsewhere.

  • Scottie says:

    brill signing

  • Martin Walker says:

    I’m my opinion, and that’s all it is, this could be our best signing since Wanyama. Albeit different positions, but this lad has shown that he can more than cut it in the league, many would say is an easy thing to do, why have so many failed then? He’s quick, dynamic and has an eye for goal, which will only get better under our stewardship. Ronny has a vision, he knows how he wants his team to play and the players we are identifying and signing show the direction he wants to go in. We have baulked before at the asking price of a hot prospect up here and lived to regret it when they swan off down South and become established internationals playing in the EPL. £2.5million for this lad is a steal! Long may it continue, we still need another left back, two centre halves and a striker, Guidetti and Denayer don’t look to be hanging around after the summer! I’ve got faith in Ronny and he will deliver! HH!

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