Pace, power and finishing prowess - Stuart Armstrong outlines the qualities his Southampton team-mate Che Adams will bring to Scotland

Stuart Armstrong has enjoyed a close-up view of Che Adams’ striking attributes over the past two seasons at Southampton.

Stuart Armstrong, pictured in training with the Scotland squad at Oriam in Edinburgh this week, hopes to add to his 22 caps for his country as the 2022 World Cup campaign kicks off against Austria at Hampden on Thursday evening. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Now the former Celtic midfielder has no doubts the Tartan Army will also love what they see when the newcomer to Steve Clarke’s squad makes his Scotland debut.

“Che is a very powerful player and holds the ball up really well,” says Armstrong of his club-mate who joined Southampton from Birmingham City for £15million in the summer of 2019.

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“He has good pace, has a powerful shot and is a very good finisher, as he has shown recently at club level. He brings a good package of a player who is also in good form.”

Aberdeen defender Andrew Considine during a Scotland training session at Oriam in Edinburgh this week ahead of the opening 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Austria, Israel and Faroe Islands. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

On a hot streak

Adams has scored in each of his last three Premier League games for Southampton where he has partnered Danny Ings in attack for much of the season.

Goals have been hard to come by for Scotland who drew a blank in each of their last two games against Slovakia and Israel in November.

As the road to Qatar 2022 begins with the opening Group F World Cup qualifiers against Austria, Israel and Faroe Islands over the course of the next week, Armstrong is confident Adams will flourish in whatever formation Clarke decides upon.

Stuart Armstrong celebrates scoring against Arsenal in January, one of three Premier League goals to the Scotland midfielder's credit so far this season. (Photo by Andy Rain - Pool/Getty Images)

“For us at Southampton, he plays up front in a two,” he added. “I know he has also played up front on his own previously as well, so I am sure both those roles will suit him. As I said, he is quick, agile and strong and I know he can adapt to a number of different roles and wherever he is asked to play.

“I am sure if Che gets the opportunity he will do everything he can to try and influence the games by scoring goals. That is what he is asked to do at club level and I’m sure that will be his objective now with Scotland.

“He is a very good player. He has shown he is a very good player in the Premier League scoring goals and having a real positive influence on games for Southampton.

“It is International football for him now and it is a different environment but it is still a game of football. When a player is in good form and has a lot of confidence, then it always makes things easier.”

Che Adams (right) celebrates scoring for Southampton at Bournemouth last July with his club and now Scotland international team-mate Stuart Armstrong (left) in pursuit. (Photo by Will Oliver/Pool via Getty Images)

A big decision

Adams, who qualifies for Scotland through a maternal grandparent, previously turned down an invitation to wear the dark blue jersey. But Armstrong insists he didn’t have to do much in the way of persuasion during his chats with the 24-year-old ahead of his call-up last week.

“Every time he asked about the squad and how things were going then I could only give him good words,” said Armstrong.

“I spoke to him a few times at our training ground, little bits here and there. It was a big decision for him and one he had to make himself. We are all very happy he has made the decision he has.

“He asks me general questions about the Scotland squad, as you generally do coming into a new place. I had nothing but good words to say about the squad.

“We are in a great place and the atmosphere is great. We have the Euros to look forward to this summer and a very exciting World Cup campaign is about to begin. I only had positive things to say and I am sure he has seen that for himself now that he has joined up with the squad.

“It is a different atmosphere and environment. It is always difficult when you come into a new set-up but as a group we are very welcoming.

“We look after new players because in most camps there have been one or two fresh faces.

“He will have played against a few of the boys before and he knows me, so although he is new to the squad, he does know a few of the boys. That always helps to have that level of comfort when you are in new surroundings.

“All the Southampton players are happy for him. It is a big decision to make but it is a very good decision. There were a lot of happy faces at Southampton and everybody is delighted for him.”

Finding a cutting edge

Armstrong, who has been in good form himself for Southampton in recent weeks, is optimistic Scotland can rediscover a greater level of deadliness in front of goal as they look to make a positive start to their World Cup bid.

“I would worry a lot more if we weren’t creating the chances,” said the 28-year-old. “We do create but ultimately it is taking that final step of taking the chances when they come along.

“At this level, sometimes chances are few and far between. Being more clinical is definitely an aim and if we can do that it should push us up the standings and give us a better chance of qualifying.

“The Euros are there for us in the summer, but that is kind of on the back burner just now. It is a new campaign, fresh challenges, fresh teams, apart from Israel.

“It is definitely a chance for us to get stronger as a team and compete and put in good performances. Whenever we come away with Scotland, that is what we aim to do – take as many points as we can and just keep improving as a team. I think it has been quite promising over the last while.”

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