ADAM ARMSTRONG is confident that a move to Barnsley represents the perfect fit for his career path.
The highly-rated Newcastle United striker was on the radar of a number of Championship and League One clubs when the Magpies let it be known that he could leave on loan to further aid his development last month.
In the event, it was Barnsley who won the race to secure his services on a season-long deal, with the Reds’ attacking instincts displayed already in an impressive start to the Championship having tipped the scales for the 19-year-old.
Armstrong, who came off the bench in the Magpies’ opening two league matches of the campaign, admits to also being swayed by Barnsley’s captivating rise to promotion via in a stunning second half of 2015-16.
The North-East-born forward, who fired 20 goals in a fine loan spell at Coventry City last term, said: “At the start of the season, I had a chat with Rafa Benitez about his plans for me and he said: ‘Look, go into the Championship and get some experience somewhere else where you will probably get more minutes than you would at Newcastle.’ I chose Barnsley and I think it is the right club going in the right direction.
“Obviously, I saw them in League One a lot last year and the story of what they produced in getting into the play-offs was amazing for the club – from where they were at Christmas.
“I watched them a few times this season and I think they are really positive and like to get forward as much as they can and that is a big part of my game.”
Meanwhile, head coach Paul Heckingbottom has revealed that he would have preferred George Moncur to stay and fight for his place at Barnsley rather than move out on loan to Peterborough – just two-and-a-half months after joining in a £500,000 move.
Moncur made just one brief appearance from the substitutes bench in the Reds’ opening five league games of the season, with a desire for more game time prompting his decision to seek a move elsewhere, with Posh – interested in signing him in the summer – bringing him in until January 7 on loan.
Heckingbottom added: “I am disappointed. I think he should still be here and fighting for his place. But I also understand he is a footballer and it is also encouraging he wants to play and is not happy when he is not.”
Stefan Payne is likely to be out for an extended spell after fracturing a bone in his foot.