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Opinion

Allan Saint-Maximin – Media claims of Newcastle United having issues with him and he could leave

2 days ago
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Thursday morning has brought media claims that Newcastle United could be now selling Allan Saint-Maximin.

So the (their) story goes…

‘Newcastle could have to sell prized-asset Allan Saint-Maximin in a bid to raise funds and offset their spending – with Magpies struggling to offer the frustrated Frenchman a greater wage, leaving Premier League rivals on alert.’

So the claims from The Mail are in two main parts really, they reckon that Allan Saint-Maximin is agitating for higher wages or else he won’t be happy, whilst at the same time the newspaper wanting us to believe that Newcastle United may indeed be wanting / willing to sell ASM in order to fund incoming signings, with FFP (Financial Fair Play) restrictions in mind.

I think important to recognise that this tale comes not from Craig Hope who covers Newcastle United for The Mail, instead it comes from one of their people down south, Simon Jones.

To me it looks like either simply yet another load of transfer window nonsense, or alternatively a deliberate attempt to stir things up at Newcastle United and within the NUFC fanbase.

If Craig Hope backed this story up then fair enough, that would give it credibility but so far he hasn’t, saying nothing via his Twitter account or elsewhere.

Simon Jones also claims that ‘Spurs and Chelsea have shown interest but deem his £40m price tag too high.’

So the inference is that Newcastle United would take £40m for Allan Saint-Maximin and other Premier League clubs are interested in buying him BUT not at that price.

In October 2020, Allan Saint-Maximin signed an enhanced contract only just over a year after coming to Newcastle and became one of the best paid at the club, he is now contracted at NUFC until 2026, so Newcastle United under no pressures on that front.

I just don’t see any substance in these media claims, Allan Saint-Maximin is still a bit of a rough diamond but at the same time, he was still Newcastle United’s most productive player (see stats / info below) despite an up and down season, With much of that largely down second half of the season to injury / illness keep him out of the team and then Allan Saint-Maximin potentially struggling for full fitness as well as form, until looking more like himself the last couple of matches of the season.

As we have already seen this summer as well, clubs aren’t letting players go on the cheap, especially creative players and goalscorers. So for this story from The Mail to make any sense, Newcastle would need to be getting massive money for Allan Saint-Maximin and getting far better value elsewhere. Which is just not reality.

ASM is an automatic first choice Newcastle player and if you sold him you would have to replace him. I think as fans we are all aware that as things stand, naturally the real elite signings are ones where Newcastle can’t compete as things currently stand, both due to the amount of money involved in terms of transfer fee and wages (when needing to build a whole team / squad that can compete, not just one or two major signings), as well as the fact NUFC can’t offer Champions League or indeed any European football at the moment.

I don’t believe that Allan Saint-Maximin is agitating for higher wages AND even if that were true, I think fair to say that he still has to go up a level, in terms of getting more end product, to be thinking of a big jump in wages.

Plus of course, having stayed at the club whilst Mike Ashley was in control, for ASM to want to leave now that ambitious owners are here, makes zero sense.

Also, when it comes to Allan Saint-Maximin, to me Newcastle United made it absolutely clear a couple of weeks ago that he was not leaving this summer.

The club releasing the new home strip for next season, with three (male) Newcastle United players chosen to promote it….

Newcastle United Home Shirt Launch 2022/23

I think January signings Kieran Trippier and Bruno Guimaraes were always nailed on to be used this summer when it came to marketing the club in whatever way, with Allan Saint-Maximin included as well, we can definitely mark him down as also a player who is not leaving this summer.

These were the basics of the 2021/22 Premier League season for Allan Saint-Maximin:

31 PL starts

4 Sub appearances off the bench

2,811 PL minutes on the pitch

5 Goals scored

5 Assists for goals

281 PL minutes per each direct goal involvement

So basically, Allan Saint-Maximin this past season averaged roughly a direct goal involvement (scoring or an assist) every three games worth of minutes.

Then it was Newcastle United direct goal involvements in the Premier League 2021/22, the top half dozen…:

10 Allan Saint-Maximin (5 goals and 5 assists)

8 Callum Wilson (8 goals and 0 assists)

6 Bruno Guimaraes (5 goals and 1 assist)

5 Ryan Fraser (2 goals and 3 assists)

5 Joelinton (4 goals and 1 assist)

4 Fabian Schar (2 goals and 2 assists)

Whilst scratching below the surface, this new end of season table from the Other 14 (who specialise in stats for clubs who aren’t ‘big six’ clubs) gave us more information to help form opinions:

Premier League Chances Created 24 May 2022

As you can see, when it came to creating chances in open play (not including set-pieces), Allan Saint-Maximin is at the very top of the tree, having created 50 chances.

When you compare that to the 2,811 minutes he has spent on the pitch, it averages at once every 56 minutes ASM created a chance this past season.

With Bruno fully settled, Wilson and Trippier back fully fit, the likes of Burn, Joelinton and others in the team, plus more quality brought into the team this summer, I’m sure we will see Allan Saint-Maximin flourish in a better quality more attacking team next season.

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