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Opinion

There is only one real essential player at Newcastle United and it isn’t Allan Saint-Maximin

4 weeks ago
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Allan Saint-Maximin is an important player for Newcastle United.

Of that there is no doubt.

The livewire who can open up other teams, whose dribbling talent often sees him going past three or four players at at time.

Allan Saint-Maximin is often described as the talisman of this Newcastle United team, so what is his end product?

This is ASM’s story in league matches in recent years:

2018/19 (with Nice)

6 goals and 3 assists (34 Ligue 1 starts)

2019/20

3 goals and 4 assists (23 PL starts)

2020/21

3 goals and 4 assists (19 PL starts)

2021/22

2 goals and 3 assists (9 PL starts)

14 goals and 14 assists in 85 league starts since summer 2018

This is the Callum Wilson story in league matches in recent years:

2018/19 (with Bournemouth)

14 goals and 9 assists (29 PL starts)

2019/20

8 goals and 1 assist (32 PL starts)

2020/21

12 goals and 5 assists (23 PL starts)

2021/22

4 goals and 0 assists (5 PL starts)

38 goals and 15 assists in 89 league starts since summer 2018.

Allan Saint-Maximin could / should be a key player this season for Newcastle United BUT Callum Wilson is absolutely essential.

Those stats are astonishing, involved directly in 53 Premier League goals (scoring 38 and assisting 15) despite only 89 starts since summer 2018.

That works out as on average, around 60% of games three in every five, Callum Wilson will be directly involved in a goal, either scoring or assisting. Wilson this season has scored four goals from only twelve shots and is averaging a goal every 103 PL minutes played.

As things currently stand, Newcastle United have absolutely nobody else who can play in that Callum Wilson position.

Whilst with Allan Saint-Maximin, it isn’t anywhere near a case of Newcastle able to function perfectly well without him BUT I do think that in this current central more advanced role, it has meant less room for say Joe Willock to work in and get into goalscoring positions, whilst certainly under Steve Bruce, Miguel Almiron has generally had far more license to play in a more advanced role when Allan Saint-Maximin has been missing.

Callum Wilson played Championship, League One and even non-league in the early years of his career, only when he was 23 did he first play in the Premier League.

It has often been seen that players, especially strikers such as Jamie Vardy, who make it at the top level later in their careers, can often keep on improving with age, when the opposite sometimes is the case with strikers who have long careers in the Premier League from a very young age, who end up with diminishing returns.

Callum Wilson turns 30 in February but as we have seen this season, he is looking so sharp in the box with goals like the header against Spurs, plus capable of the spectacular such as that strike v Palace.

Keeping Callum Wilson fully fit and on the page is essential for Newcastle United in these crucial months ahead, getting him a decent supply line is now the challenge.

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