Steve Bruce is hoping highly improved former Newcastle ace Adam Armstrong does not end up delivering a painful blow to his boyhood club as Saints come visiting on Saturday.
The 24-year-old striker joined Southampton in a £15million switch from Blackburn this summer, but took his first steps in the professional game at St James’ Park after emerging from the club’s Academy.
He was sold to Rovers for £1.7million in August 2018 as then Magpies boss Rafael Benitez reshaped his squad having made just a handful of senior appearances, but has risen to prominence since.
Asked about the frontman as he prepared his team for the Saints’ Premier League visit to Tyneside this weekend, Bruce said: “There must have been a decision made at that time, ‘Is the kid ever going to be good enough to be Newcastle’s centre-forward?’.
“Obviously the decision to sell any young player – we’ve seen [Brentford’s] Ivan Toney as well – any decision is a decision that you have to look at very carefully, of course.
“I haven’t had the privilege to work with Adam. I’ve seen him play on numerous occasions and since he’s left Newcastle, he’s done very, very well for himself. I’m sure it’s a huge, huge game for him, coming back to his boyhood club.
“They are decisions that managers make and obviously the previous manager must have thought he wasn’t quite ready to play for Newcastle.”
Armstrong and his team-mates will run out against a Newcastle side which is yet to taste victory this season league defeats by West Ham and Aston Villa have been followed by Wednesday night’s Carabao Cup penalty shoot-out exit at the hands of Burnley – to leave the natives restless once again.
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