Carlisle United have announced the signing of Luke Armstrong from Harrogate Town on a permanent transfer from the 1st of January 2024 according to club media.
Armstrong is set to become the second signing under the new Piatak/Castle Sports Group ownership, having already signed free agent defender Josh Emmanuel in late November.
Having been the subject of plenty of interest from a host of EFL clubs, with a move to League Two promotion-chasing Wrexham breaking down on deadline day in the summer, Armstrong has now found his new club in the form of Paul Simpson’s Carlisle.
The striker had been out-of-favour at Harrogate ever since he made himself unavailable for selection at the start of the season. That being said, Armstrong has still made 12 appearances for the Sulphurites in League Two this season, yet has only played 661 minutes. The striker amassed one goal and one assist during that spell, but his previous two seasons with Harrogate speak far more favourably.
In his last two seasons in League Two, Armstrong scored a combined 28 goals as well as supplying a further 12 assists, numbers that very few in the Carlisle side have ever put up. The forward area is certainly a position which is in need of improvement for the Blues, having scored just 17 goals in their opening 21 games in the third tier.
With the Cumbrians currently finding themselves in 21st place, and three points from safety, Simpson will be hoping that the 27-year-old will have the desired impact, and lift them out of the relegation places.
Harrogate on the other hand sit in 16th in League Two and despite missing their former talisman for much of the season, have coped in his absence. A deal which is expected to be in the six-figure region should give the Yorkshire side plenty of funds to use in January as they once again look to preserve their place in the EFL.
A joint-agreement on both Carlisle’s & Harrogate’s respective websites reads:
Harrogate Town, Carlisle United and Luke Armstrong can each confirm they have all reached and completed an agreement for a permanent transfer on 1 January 2024.
Having already successfully completed his medical at Brunton Park, Luke will now leave Town with immediate effect to begin training with United, pending the opening of the transfer window and transfer of his registration.
With Carlisle travelling to Exeter on the 6th of January, it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Armstrong integrated straight into the line-up. Now already training with the club, he should be able to quickly get up to speed with Simpson’s system and tactics prior to his debut in a blue shirt.
This piece of business has only happened due to Carlisle’s increased budget from the new ownership. It looked destined that Armstrong would end up at Wrexham but alas, the League One side managed to fend off competition to get their new striker.
Although there are some concerns regarding Armstrong’s attitude, that can be put down to his relationship with Harrogate in the last few months. He could play a huge part in the second-half of Carlisle’s season, something that fans will certainly want given their current position. Despite not being proven in League One, Armstrong will be expected to hit the ground running.