Although Stuart Armstrong scored the goal that secured the three points for Southampton against Newcastle United, ensuring that the Saints would go top of the Premier League table, the Scottish international’s overall performance, at least from a stats point of view, was perhaps not as good.
The former Celtic man earned a 7.6 rating from SofaScore for his performance against the Toon but other than his late goal, where he fired a left-footed shot past Karl Darlow in the Newcastle net, it could be said that he struggled with his final product on Friday evening.
As per SofaScore, the 28-year-old had a pass success rate of just 73% in the game against Steve Bruce’s side, completing just 27 of his 37 attempted passes. Armstrong also managed just one key pass during the game suggesting that creatively, he was not at his best.
As well as this, the Scotsman lost possession on no fewer than 18 occasions, which was the most of any Southampton player on the pitch, so you could argue that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side were fortunate that Newcastle were not able to take advantage of the midfielder’s slack passing on the night.
Considering the attacking-midfielder has registered just seven assists in 72 appearances for the Saints, you could certainly argue that his final ball is an area which he could improve on, although two of those assists have come in the top-flight this season, so maybe we are beginning to see signs of his attacking output improving.
Armstrong has been a regular for the Saints so far this season, having made six appearances in the Premier League, in which he has contributed one goal and two assists, averaging a solid 6.97 rating (per WhoScored).
This has only been enough to rank him as Southampton’s eighth-best player across the Premier League season so far, perhaps demonstrating the excellent start to the season a lot of Hasenhuttl’s side have enjoyed.
With Southampton’s next game against an in-form Wolves side at Molineux following the international break, Armstrong may need to ensure that he is more successful with his passes and more confident in keeping possession, otherwise, he may be punished by Nuno Espirito Santo’s side.