Allan Saint-Maximin reveals more on 'difficult' transfer to Newcastle United
Allan Saint-Maximin is keen to hit the ground running at Newcastle United – after finally getting a move to the club.
Saint-Maximin made his debut against Saint-Etienne yesterday less than 24 hours after joining in a £16.5million deal from Nice.
The winger – who hopes to start the August 11 season-opener against Arsenal – came off the bench against the French club at St James’s Park, where Joelinton and Matty Longstaff were on target in a 2-1 win for Newcastle.
Jetro Willems, signed on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt, also made his debut.
"I feel good,” said Saint-Maximin. “I don't think you could ask too much more the week before a big game against Arsenal.
"In France, you don't have 50,000 people turning out to watch you in games. It's not normal for me. I know I will see much more people against Arsenal. It’s really good for the players.”
Newcastle’s interest in Saint-Maximin, handed the No10 jersey by head coach Steve Bruce, dates back to last season, when Nice coach Patrick Vieira blocked a move for him.
"It was a difficult transfer,” said the former France Under-21 international. "Newcastle came in December last year, so it’s been a long time for me.
"Nice did not want to let me go, because they needed players. The trainer (Vieira) wanted me to stay. I told him I wanted to go to Newcastle.
"Newcastle came for me again, so now it’s my dream to be in the Premier League. It’s a very good club.”
Bruce – who played Miguel Almiron off striker Joelinton against Saint-Etienne – will now assess his players ahead of the Arsenal game.
"It will be up to the head coach (who starts against Arsenal),” said Saint-Maximin. "Joelinton’s a very good player, and Miguel Almiron had a lot of opportunities to score.
"For me, I passed well to (Yoshinori) Muto, and had an opportunity myself to score. When I feel my way into things, I'll feel better and to shoot and score.”