STU­ART ARMSTRO NG

Southamp­ton | 26 | Mid­fielder

Australian Four Four Two - - NEW SIGNINGS -

Southamp­ton paid $12,000,175 for Stu­art Arm­strong: $12m for the player, and $175 for his song. After Saints used a chant Celtic fans had dreamt up for Arm­strong – which com­pli­ments his “fine” hair and abil­ity to “score bel­ters all the time” – when an­nounc­ing the mid­fielder’s ar­rival at St Mary’s on their In­sta­gram, Celtic re­quested a do­na­tion to their foun­da­tion as com­pen­sa­tion. Southamp­ton duly obliged, and some great so­cial me­dia bon­homie was en­joyed by all. But be­yond such ban­ter, Saints might have snagged yet an­other bar­gain from Celtic. After Vir­gil van Dijk and Vic­tor Wanyama made the jour­ney from Glas­gow to the south coast, ex­celling then mov­ing on for a hand­some profit, might Arm­strong be the next? He’s been on Southamp­ton’s radar for some time, with fees of any­thing up to $18 mil­lion men­tioned in the gos­sip pages last sum­mer. He scored plenty of eye-catch­ing goals in Scot­land, as a player un­afraid to try his luck from way out, but he also has that mar­vel­lous abil­ity to time late runs into the box per­fectly and get on the end of crosses and pick up sec­ond balls. After a tricky be­gin­ning to his time at Celtic Park fol­low­ing his move from Dundee United, Arm­strong flour­ished un­der Bren­dan Rodgers. A fine 2016-17 at­tracted at­ten­tion from more than just St Mary's, al­though last sea­son was dis­rupted by in­juries and spells of patchy form. Rodgers, though, re­mains a fan.“He is phys­i­cally very good,” said the Celtic boss after the move was com­pleted. “You need to have good phys­i­cal­ity to play in the Pre­mier League down south and he has got that. He has good power and good speed. But what sets him apart from a lot of mid­field play­ers is he has an in­stinct to ar­rive in the box and score.”

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