Celtic's Stuart Armstrong now more valuable, says Owen Coyle

Stuart Armstrong scores
Stuart Armstrong scored 17 goals last season, including one in the Scottish Cup final win over Aberdeen

Owen Coyle believes Stuart Armstrong's value has increased several times after his impressive season at Celtic.

Manager Coyle, now a free agent, revealed he tried to sign Armstrong for Blackburn Rovers last summer.

"I tried to offer just over £1m," Coyle told BBC Radio Scotland. "Celtic had bought him for probably just £1.5m, £1.75m, whatever it was.

"Now, a year later, Stuart Armstrong, that value is maybe four, five, six times that."

Scotland midfielder Armstrong, 25, won his first two international caps after becoming a mainstay and regular scorer for Brendan Rodgers' Celtic side, who won the treble without losing a domestic match.

However, the former Dundee United player had not been a first pick at the start of season 2016-17.

"If I think back to last August, I tried to sign Stuart Armstrong for Blackburn Rovers when he wasn't in the team," Coyle said on Sportsound.

Owen Coyle and Alex Neil
Coyle, pictured with Alex Neil, has managed north and south of the border

"He's a player I've always admired. I spoke to [Celtic chief executive] Peter [Lawwell], spoke to Brendan. And, to be fair to Brendan, Brendan said, 'he's not in the team at the moment, Owen, but he's going to get his chance and when he does, it's up to him'.

"And he gave him his chance and the boy kicked on. Stuart's now a bona fide international player."

'Stability' for managers in Scotland

Former Burnley, Bolton and Wigan boss Coyle, 50, says he has "turned a few things down" since leaving Blackburn in February.

"I'd rather wait for now," he explained. "It's just important that I make the right choice when I move forward."

And Republic of Ireland cap Coyle, who spent most of his playing career as a striker in Scotland, says managers are given more time to put their plans in place north of the border.

"There's a huge thing that Scotland have over countries all over the world and that's the stability they have at the football clubs and I mean in respect of the owners and the chairmen," said Coyle.

"From a managerial point, it's something managers crave because all managers want is that environment they know they're going to be allowed time to actually implement the job and I think in Scotland they have that."

Last season's Scottish Premiership top scorer Liam Boyce has joined Burton from Ross County and Coyle believes clubs in England will continue to scour the Scottish market.

Liam Boyce
Northern Ireland international Boyce moves to England after scoring 55 goals in 105 appearances for County

"I would sign [Hibernian's John] McGinn," added Coyle.

"He's one of a number of young players that can make the step to eventually play at the highest level.

"There'll be players in the [Premiership] with the same technique, same ability as players in the English Premier League.

"The differential will be that in the English Premier League they have ultimate pace and power to go along with that ability and that's why they play at the highest level.

"I signed [Scotland striker] Steven Fletcher [from Hibernian] for just over £2.5m for Burnley and he was outstanding; subsequently moved for £8m and £14m.

"Was Steven Fletcher seven times the player that I bought? No, but he was in that market and showing the quality that he had all his days and that's what English football brings.

"There are some very talented young players in Scotland - clubs still look, whether it be top-end Championship [or] Premier League."

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