JOHN Carver says Adam Armstrong is NOT yet ready for the Premier League – and needs a season AWAY from St James’s Park.
The teenage forward is on the fringes of Carver’s team.
And many fans would like to see the 18-year-old give more time on the pitch in the last six games of the season.
Head coach Carver, like his predecessor Alan Pardew, rates Armstrong highly.
But the 50-year-old feels Armstrong – who captain’s England’s Under-18 side and is the second-youngest player to have played for United in the Premier League – needs to get games under his belt in the Football League before he had really challenge for a place in United’s starting XI.
Carver – whose side take on Tottenham Hotspur at St James’s Park tomorrow – cites the breakthrough of Adam Campbell two years ago.
What Adam needs at this football club is to be out on loan – playing in the Championship or in League One for a season – and we almost let him do that until Papiss got suspended.John Carver
The striker, now 20, has failed to fulfil his potential at Newcastle, and is set to leave the club this summer.
“It’s very difficult,” said Carver. “People want Adam Armstrong to play and it’s a difficult situation for Adam, because his form in the reserves hasn’t been great. He hasn’t been prolific.
“He’s a young player developing.
“We had a situation with Adam Campbell not so long ago, where he got fast-tracked and he got thrown into that European game and everybody thought he was going to be the next Franco Zola, or whatever, and he wasn’t.
“It affected him. I don’t want the same thing happening to Adam Armstrong. What Adam needs at this football club is to be out on loan – playing in the Championship or in League One for a good season – and we almost let him do that until Papiss got suspended.
“He was on his way to Bolton or Forest.
“He needs a good season out on loan, in the Championship, banging in goals, as part of his development.
“But because of the circumstances we’ve had to keep hold of him, keep him in the squad, and use him sparingly.”
Goals have been a problem for United this season, and matters have not been helped by the seven-game suspension picked up by leading scorer Papiss Demba Cisse for spitting at Manchester United’s Jonny Evans last month.
“It’s been a problem all season if you take Papiss’s goals out of it,” said Carver, beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at Anfield on Monday night.
“We need to express ourselves just a little bit more.”