Adam Armstrong’s looking to step up to the Championship – with Newcastle United.
The forward scored 20 goals for League One loan club Coventry City last season.
Now United manager Rafa Benitez must decide whether to loan Armstrong out again – or keep him at St James’s Park.
The teenager missed out on a place in England’s squad for this month’s European Under-19 Championships because of an injury, but he is back in training and could feature against Doncaster Rovers tomorrow night in United’s second friendly of the summer.
“I’ve been back in training,” said Armstrong. “It’s feeling good.
“I’ve been strengthening it in the gym.
I played in League One, and I think I’m past that. I did well there, so the next step is the Championship. I’ll have to see what happens.Adam Armstrong
“It was disappointing not to go (to the European Championships). I’m supporting them.”
England – with Newcastle youngster Freddie Woodman in goal – have qualified for the semi-finals of the U19 competition.
Armstrong, however, is now focused on making an impression on Tyneside after returning to fitness.
And while he didn’t feature in the game against Bohemian as he works his way back up to speed, Armstrong still took a lot of positives from the trip.
Reflecting on last week’s training camp in Ireland, he said: “It’s been really good. It’s good to get away and have a good week’s work. The lads are all bonding and getting on well.
“It’s felt great being back. As a Newcastle lad, to come back and put a Newcastle top on in training and see all the lads is a really good feeling.
“It gives us a bit of a buzz.”
Coventry want Armstrong back on another loan, and a clutch of other clubs are also monitoring his situation ahead of the new season, but the 19-year-old’s preference is to compete for a place in Newcastle’s Championship side.
Asked about his hopes for the season, he said: “It’s the same for every player.
“You’ve just go to train hard and put a marker down all the way through pre-season and see where it takes you.
“I played in League One, and I think I’m past that. I did well there, so the next step is the Championship.
“I’ll have to see what happens.”
Benitez hinted that Armstrong could be loaned out again when he was asked about his short-term future earlier this month.
“It’s always difficult with the competition, especially when you are a young player,” said Benitez.
“For me as a manager, if you ask me what do you prefer?
“I prefer local players but they have to be good enough to compete at the maximum level. The top sides have the best Academies but still they need to bring in foreign players.
“The main thing is to give him the opportunity to show his level.
“If we think the best thing is to send him away to keep developing, then we will do that.”