April 24, 2024

Southampton’s whole concentration is on regaining promotion to the Premier League, but Russell Martin will also be thinking about the futures of his first-team players.

Southampton won 4-2 at Sunderland on Saturday afternoon, bringing them within six points of second-place Leeds United with one game in hand.

The Saints are still in a good position to return to the Premier League at the first attempt, but with a strong pace being set at the top, Russell Martin’s side can’t afford to slip up.

Several players have stood out for the South Coast club this season, including the electrifying Adam Armstrong, Kyle Walker-Peters’ enthusiasm down the right wing, and Stuart Armstrong in midfield.

Stuart Armstrong’s Championship statistics

Armstrong has demonstrated remarkable athleticism and dynamism from the engine room this season.
The 31-year-old propels their midfield ahead with his ability to carry the ball and create quality in the closing third.

With four goals and six assists, the Scotsman has shown that he is a cut above the rest of his positional contemporaries in the Championship.

According to FBref, Armstrong ranks in the top 3% for progressive passes, 7% for touches (att pen), 9% for shot-creating actions, and 11% for progressive carries.

The “magnificent” midfield machine, as described by journalist Dan Hargreaves, is critical to Southampton’s ability to create chances centrally.

Armstrong’s importance is also highlighted by the fact that he has been an ever-present for Martin this season and has yet to miss a Championship game.

While many will credit Adam Armstrong with his goals, his midfield namesake also deserves flowers and a new contract with the club.

Why Stuart Armstrong deserves a new contract

Southampton looking to protect Scotland's Stuart Armstrong - Not The Old  Firm

 

Armstrong’s contract at St Mary’s expires in the summer, and it would be silly for the Saints not to renew.

Some still believe the Scotland international can play in the top division, and he was a rare bright spot during the club’s relegation battle last season.

Instead of bailing ship after being demoted to the Championship, he demonstrated genuine professionalism and dignity by remaining with the club.

Having said that, the energetic midfielder deserves a new contract to recognize his dedication and quality over the past six years on the South Coast.

Not only is he a fan favourite among most Southampton fans, but he would be inundated with bids from Premier League clubs, which is a good sign to put a contract offer on the table.

 

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