Adam Armstrong is happy to embrace the happy coincidence between his career and one of an England legend.
The Newcastle-born striker, who started his career at St James’ Park, arrives at Southampton following a prolific spell at Blackburn.
The three clubs are synonymous with Alan Shearer, who followed the same route in reverse, having started out as a Saint in the late 80s.
Shearer, idolised by fellow Geordie Armstrong, went on to become England captain, the Premier League’s record goalscorer and surely Newcastle’s greatest ever player.
“That’s not too bad!” Armstrong grinned. “I’ve just looked at that before actually – I’ve went on his career backwards.
“It’s a funny comparison, but Shearer was a massive legend at Newcastle and obviously Southampton and Blackburn as well, and I’m trying to do the same.”
Fate would have it that Armstrong is on course to meet his boyhood club later this month, following Saturday’s season opener at Everton and a potential home debut against Manchester United.
“A few of them stand out,” he said of the fixture list. “Newcastle away is pretty soon, so that will be a good one.
“Every game is going to be brilliant. Going from, no disrespect to the Championship, but the teams playing there compared to the likes of Man City and Man U… it’s unbelievable, something that I’m relishing and I can’t wait to get started.
“It’s what I’ve wanted ever since I was little, to be playing in these sorts of big games, and now that it’s coming back it’s unbelievable. It’s something that I’m thriving on, and hopefully I can entertain the fans and put on a good show.
“I’m fit and ready. I’ve played a few games – I know there was lots of speculation going on but I didn’t want to miss the games.
“I’ve played a few friendlies in pre-season, got some minutes under my belt, so I’m feeling fit and well, and I’m raring to go.”