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John Barnes verdict on whether Allan Saint-Maximin is set to join ‘big six’ club

3 weeks ago
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Allan Saint-Maximin gave a number of interviews in the final stages of the season.

The French winger yet again talking about Newcastle United and ambition.

Allan Saint-Maximin repeating what he had repeatedly said previously, that he is happy on Tyneside but if ambition isn’t shown, he could / would be forced to consider leaving Newcastle United in the future.

Just when that future might be is anybody’s guess, plus of course a club actually tabling a big for Allan Saint-Maximin could be a game changer.

With zero sign so far of Mike Ashley allowing any ambition in the transfer market, John Barnes has been talking about the possibility of Allan Saint-Maximin moving on…and whether he is good enough to play for a ‘big six’ club’

John Barnes asked by bettingodds.com:

“Onto your former team Newcastle, their talisman Allan Saint-Maximin has recently voiced his concerns at Newcastle’s transfer policy.

“Do you think he will depart the club if things don’t improve and do you believe he’s good enough to play for one of the Premier League’s ‘big six’?”

John Barnes:

“He has been fantastic for Newcastle.

“He has been incredible for Newcastle.

“His return from injury really helped them at the backend of the season and got them out of a bad situation.

“I’m pleased for the fans and I’m pleased for Steve Bruce because under difficult circumstances when the harmony wasn’t right because of the relationship the fans have with the owner, I think they did well to stay up.

“There was a lot of negativity surrounding the whole situation and they did well to come out of that and Saint-Maximin had a big part to play in that.

“He has to choose his club and Newcastle is the right club for him because they give him the ball and say ‘do what you want’ and he won’t be able to do that at a big club, he will have to play in a system.

“He can do what he wants, dribble when he wants and they won’t criticise him.

“He won’t be able to do that at a bigger club so I can’t see him going to one of the ‘big six’.”

The actual reality is that Allan Saint-Maximin had another mixed season, indeed arguably less of an impact than his first season with NUFC.

Early in the season ASM rarely hit great heights, the Burnley game where he got a goal and an assist one of the few real highlights. Steve Bruce was set to drop Allan Saint-Maximin anyway, only for the virus to come along and ensure that happened regardless in late November.

For the rich and powerful clubs they will always be interested in raw talent and especially players who can beat an opponent (or three). However, they also look at end product and just the same as 2019/20, ASM only got three goals and four assists in 2020/21.

His injury / fitness record has also seen Allan Saint-Maximin start just 42 of a possible 76 Premier League matches for Newcastle United, so questions marks there for any club who would be interested.

The lack of consistency and relatively low figures on end product should help protect Newcastle United in the short-term from any worrying bids, plus of course there are the media reports of Mike Ashley demanding as much as £70m if any club wanted to buy Allan Saint-Maximin.

So, my money would be on Allan Saint-Maximin kicking off the season still with Newcastle United on 15 August at home to West Ham. However, if no ambition (Joe Willock???) is shown in the transfer window by Ashley AND a club came in with a serious bid (even if nowhere near Ashley’s daft valuation), then you would have to worry that ASM would then be pushing to be allowed to go.

Newcastle United desperately needing this takeover to persuade the small number of quality players to want to stay, plus of course then to bid on bringing in other quality players from elsewhere to join them.

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