'Out of sync and a bit fragile' - Michael Stewart destroys Celtic 25-year-old
By Harry Sykes
Former Hearts midfielder Michael Stewart has slammed Stuart Armstrong for looking “out of sync and a bit fragile” during his Celtic contract stalemate.
Talks between the playmaker and the Glasgow giants over a new deal dragged on for six months before a resolution was reached yesterday (Friday).
Celtic announced that Armstrong, 25, has signed a new two-year deal that will run until 2019 and replaces his previous agreement, which was due to expire next year.
The Scotland international was recalled to the Hoops team for their 2-0 Scottish Premiership win at Kilmarnock today as Brendan Rodgers made six changes to the side that hammered FC Astana 5-0 in midweek.
It was the first league start of the season for Armstrong and former Manchester United player Stewart believes the player has been significantly affected by speculation about his future.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“I think Stuart Armstrong has looked out of sync and a bit fragile,” Stewart told BBC Sport Scotland, as quoted by their website’s live match blog (12.43pm). “He has been knocked about from pillar to post while his future remained unresolved, unsure about his position and where he wanted to be.
“But for the benefit of the national team, it is important he hits the ground running now he has signed his new deal and he is back in the team.”
Armstrong was a substitute for each of Celtic’s first two league matches of the season after being key member of the starting XI for the treble winners last season.
He was also left out for the midweek demolition of Astana but will hope to come back into the reckoning to start the second leg in Kazakhstan on Tuesday night.
In other Celtic news, the odds have been slashed on the Scottish giants signing a West Ham big-money player.