Sitting 15th in the Championship table, 16 points adrift of the play-off places, there can be no denying that this has been something of a disappointing campaign for Blackburn Rovers, given their pre-season hopes for a top-six push.
However, one player who has certainly caught the eye for Tony Mowrbay’s side this season, is Adam Armstrong.
The striker, who was named Rovers’ Player of the Season for the 2019/20 campaign, has continued to provide a huge influence for Blackburn this season, perhaps not surprisingly leading to plenty of speculation about his future ahead of the summer transfer window.
But just how has Armstrong continued to make that impact for Rovers across the course of the season so far?
Here, we’ve taken a look at some of the trends we’ve seen in Armstrong’s game over the past few months, in order to find out.
One key factor of Armstrong’s game that we have continued to see play a role this season, is the goals he has scored.
After netting 17 in total during the last campaign, Armstrong has already found the net 20 times in all competitions this season, a return that has been hugely vital for Rovers, given their next highest scorer, Sam Gallagher, has just six goals to his name in all competitions this season.
Indeed, Armstrong has also developed something of a knack for timely late goals as well, scoring three match-winning goals in the final five minutes of games, earning Rovers six extra points without which, they would now be just five points clear of the relegation zone, and looking nervously over their shoulder.
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That Armstrong is scoring so much should perhaps not be a huge surprise, given the amount of shots he has been taking this season.
According to WhoScored, Armstrong is averaging 4.6 shots per game this season, some way more than any other player in the Championship (Norwich’s Teemu Pukki is second, with an average of 3.3 shots per game), so the chances he has to score are significantly increased.
It is also worth noting that by contrast, the striker averaged just 2.2 per shots per game last season, indicating the growth in confidence he does appear to have enjoyed, thanks to his exploits in front of goal during the latter part of last season, and the early stages of the current campaign in particular.
Perhaps not surprisingly given the increase in the amount of times he is shooting per game, it is also noticeable that the number of passes Armstrong completes, has dropped.
Whilst he is now averaging 2.4 shots per game more this season than last, the amount of passes played by the striker has dropped by a similar level in that time, going from 19.7 passes per game last season, to 17.3 passes per game during the current campaign, further emphasising the increase in his confidence to shoot from positions where he might not have previously done so.
Interestingly, Armstrong’s pass success rate has dropped only slightly (from 79.9% to 76.4%), while like last season, the 24-year-old still averages 0.9 key passes per game, indicating he is still more than capable of linking up with his teammates, and creating chances, when he chooses to go down that route.