Adam Armstrong is to be given his chance in the first team with Aleksander Mitrovic’s suspension, reports The Chronicle.
Speaking to the paper, Rafa Benitez said:
“Maybe he will start with us. He is training well and he is doing fine.”
There had been speculation earlier in the summer that Armstrong would be loaned out to continue his progress. Benitez hasn’t ruled out that possibility, observing that the decision will be taken for the good of the player, as well as the good of the club.
It’s a delicate balancing act, with loan spells as perilous to his development as not playing regularly for Newcastle. Benitez has to be mindful of the playing time he will get away from St James Park and the damage that poor quality coaching at other clubs can do.
Armstrong made his debut at Craven Cottage in 2014 but is expected to be on the bench on Friday night. Ayoze Perez and new signing, Dwight Gayle, are most likely to be first choice strikers as the Championship kicks off.