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Opinion

You have to fear for Allan Saint-Maximin and Callum Wilson

1 month ago
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All Premier League clubs are constantly looking to sign goalscorers and creative players who can make things happen.

Callum Wilson is a Premier League level goalscorer.

Allan Saint-Maximin is a creative player, who when on form is a constant worry for the opposition, capable of creating problems for any team.

Both players are currently missing from both training and first team friendlies until we hear different, Allan Saint-Maximin not involved at all in the last three friendlies and for Callum Wilson – not in the squad for the last two pre-season warm up matches.

For me though, the worries go way beyond that.

In pre-season, both players have said how much they are looking forward to the upcoming Premier League season with Newcastle United. To be fair though, with very rare exceptions, when does any player say anything other than this?

I am now seriously worried that Newcastle could lose one or both of these players in the remaining 26 / 27 days of this transfer window which closes at the end of August 2021.

Why would any decent quality player want to stay at St James Park as things stand?

Go on, just think how depressed this close season has been for you as a fan, then imagine how you would be feeling as a Newcastle United player who believes they are good enough to be playing for an ambitious club, instead of one that has made absolutely clear this summer that it is going nowhere, apart from the Championship potentially.

I hear you shout that there are no public signs of them leaving, no bids…well just look at Danny Ings, out of the blue announced yesterday that he had gone to Aston Villa without any prior warning, Villa paying up to a reported £30m for a 29 year old striker who will give them goals. Ings having scored 34 goals in 58 Premier League starts (plus nine sub appearances) these past two seasons at Southampton.

Southampton now desperately need a new striker and have the money to buy one. Would Callum Wilson go there if asked? Would he see it as a better bet than Newcastle? Well at the moment it is very difficult to see any club as a worse bet than NUFC…

Callum Wilson turns 30 during the upcoming season and joined Newcastle United a year ago hoping that at last Mike Ashley (or new owners) would show some ambition and that he could potentially force his way back into the England squad ahead of the Euros. Those Euros have gone but a World Cup is coming next year and if playing for a Newcastle team in a season-long relegation struggle, with a very negative Steve Bruce formation and tactics, what chance has Callum Wilson got? He scored a remarkable 12 goals despite only 49 shots / chances created for him last season, Wilson needs the service.

I hear you shout that both Wilson and Allan Saint-Maximin are under contract and Newcastle United / Mike Ashley can’t be forced to sell but that’s not the real world. Ben White got his £50m move to Arsenal eventually, as Brighton accepted they couldn’t keep an unhappy player. Ings has left Southampton, Villa were desperate to keep Grealish but he’s on his way to Man City, whilst similarly, Harry Kane will eventually leave Spurs in the remaining days of this transfer window.

That is another extra level of fear, with the big transfers happening, clubs such as Brighton, Villa, Southampton and others, all have cash burning a hole in their pockets. Whilst once Tottenham accept the inevitable, they will be spending even more money than they are already set to do under new manager Nuno this month.

Allan Saint-Maximin has repeatedly said that he is happy at Newcastle United BUT will end up having to leave (see below) if ambition isn’t shown by NUFC. Well, hello, this car crash summer is surely the ultimate wake up call for ASM, facing up to his third season at Newcastle United and having told Callum Wilson that his ambition is to make the France World Cup squad for Qatar 2022, why would he stay at St James Park if an offer comes in from a credible club?

Three weeks ago, the French winger intriguing fans put up on Twitter:

“If you do the same thing over and over again you cannot ever expect a different outcome.” Albert Einstein

No clarification from Allan Saint-Maximin as to exactly what he was referring to with his quote…but Newcastle United fans found it very difficult to believe he was referring to anything other than Newcastle United, as the quote perfectly summed up this summer and Mike Ashley’s overall running of NUFC.

For further evidence of where the Frenchman’s head might be now, just look at these past three Allan Saint-Maximin interviews…

Allan Saint-Maximin talking to Stadium Astro – 28 May 2021:

“I feel really good because I play in the best league in the world…it is really important for me to play in this league.

“It’s a little bit cold here [moving to Newcastle from Nice] but the people are not cold, the people are really, really hot…that is why I really love Newcastle.

“Sometimes you have to be honest and Newcastle don’t have to be in this position you know because I don’t think anyone wants to fight every year to not get relegated.

“For me, Newcastle have the opportunity, have everything [as a club] to try to fight for the top 10 and try to win some trophies because that’s why we play football.

“We play football to win games and win trophy, so that’s why a lot of the time I feel disappointed and that’s what I say, sometimes you have to be honest.

“I don’t want to do again a season where we fight relegation, so I hope the club and everyone tries to do the best to have a really good team for the start of next season and try to do everything to win a trophy because it’s the most important thing.

“Joe Willock is an amazing player, he can run fast, he can score goals, his technique, his ability…we need more players like him if we want to be in the top ten.

“When you bring in a player like Willock, I feel more comfortable…so it is really important to have more players like Joe Willock in the team.”

Allan Saint-Maximin talking to Sky Sports about Newcastle United and his future…- 19 May 2021:

“The club [Newcastle United] has given me everything, the opportunity for me to show to everyone my quality in the Premier League.

“When they asked me about a new deal, I feel that I have to give. Sometimes when people give you something, you have to give back.

“But before I signed it, I had always said Newcastle should not be fighting against relegation every year.

“We have to fight for the top 10, it’s what the supporters deserve.

“Sometimes you have to think about your future, you can see Leicester winning the FA Cup, you play football to win trophies, not to fight to stay up.

“We have to buy more players like Joe Willock, he can be really great for the team and for myself, I am 24 years old, and have to think about the national team, about winning trophies, and hope the club can give me that.

“My relationship is really good with Joe [Willock] inside and outside the pitch, and you can see how that helps a team when you have players like that – like Harry Kane and Heung-min Son at Tottenham.”

Asked about his longer-term ambitions and whether Newcastle United could / can fulfil them, Allan Saint-Maximin speaking to sport.fr – 9 October 2020:

‘You are fighting your second season with the Magpies, what do you think of the club? Do you plan to stay for the long-term?’

“The club has a lot of ambitions and everyone has followed the news around Newcastle in particular with the possible takeover which was ultimately not possible, compared to the Premier League. There are a lot of big investors trying to buy the club. We also have a president who invests a lot of money in order to strengthen the team and continue the development.

“For my part, everything will depend on this development.

“If the club is developing well and it is in line with my ambitions, staying is a possibility.

“If things don’t turn out like that, obviously the question of leaving will arise.

“Now we are in a huge league with a lot of big teams, so being able to play in Europe and the Europa League would be really great. The Champions League is a big dream, every footballer wants to play it.

“It’s a great, historic club that has a lot of dreams and there is everything around it to achieve this goal. ”

A President who invests a lot of money and Champions League football…well I think Allan Saint-Maximin has well and truly got the message by now as to the reality of life at Newcastle.

On top of everything else this summer at Newcastle United, I now really worry that there could well be a big money move come in for Allan Saint-Maximin and / or possibly Callum Wilson.

If / when that is the case, what would you do if you were in their shoes / boots?

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