Harrogate Town have announced that striker Luke Armstrong has made himself unavailable for selection for their season opener, according to the club’s official Twitter account.
Harrogate are opening their season today with a trip to Doncaster, however will be without their Talisman Luke Armstrong following the player’s decision to make himself unavailable for selection.
This comes after plenty of speculation surrounding the striker’s future at the club, where he has been a target of a plethora of League One and Two sides, as well as in Scotland this summer. Earlier on in the week it had been announced that the club had rejected a bid for Armstrong, with the club stating that they would only consider selling their striker if a “significant offer is submitted”.
The news come as a monumental blow for the Sulphurites just an hour before their first game of the new League Two season. The Yorkshire side had already been tipped by both The Real EFL writers as well as various EFL pundits to be in a relegation scrap this year and this news only increases those chances.
The 27-year-old scored 16 times in League Two last season as well as recording a further six assists for the Sulphurites, following on from his 12 goals and six assists the season prior. Now the established star player at Harrogate, Town fans will be increasingly worried for the season with the striker’s departure looking imminent.
In Armstrong’s absence, the club have chosen Jack Muldoon as their staring striker for their visit to Doncaster today. The 34-year-old supplied nine goal contributions last season, but doesn’t possess the same clinical finishing of that of Armstrong. Fans will be hoping that he can feel the void today but Muldoon is far from the long-term solution.
With Armstrong still having two years left on his contract at Wetherby Road, the club will be expecting a significant fee to gain his services. With no other striker in the ranks looking able to step-up to fill what will be a monumental gap in the team, manager Simon Weaver will be wanting to source a replacement immediately. The club will be expecting to get notable fee for their target man and we’ll no doubt see Weaver utilise that money to find a new number nine in the coming weeks.
This is an absolute nightmare for Harrogate fans, with the announcement coming less than an hour prior to their season opener. Armstrong has been a shining light in the side the last two seasons and his contributions have played a huge part in keeping the club in the EFL. There will now be some uncertainty for the forthcoming season in the Harrogate fan base, with the club now fully expected to be in a relegation fight this year.