Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe issues Allan Saint-Maximin update after Joelinton blow
Eddie Howe has a decision to make for Newcastle United's visit to the St Mary’s Stadium.
Joelinton had been fielded on the left side of United’s attack against Villa and Tottenham Hotspur a week earlier, and Jacob Murphy and Allan Saint-Maximin are the obvious contenders to replace him in the starting XI after both coming off the bench against Villa.
Howe, however, may err on the side of caution with the influential Saint-Maximin, who has only made one substitute’s appearance since recovering from a hamstring injury.
Asked if the club had any injury concerns ahead of the Southampton game, United’s head coach said: "No, as you always do, we’ve had a few bumps and bruises, but nothing too bad.
"We’ve come through with Allan OK after his little cameo. So the strength of the group is slowly returning. Obviously, we have Emil (Krafth), Alex (Isak) and Matt Ritchie still out. Apart from that, I think we’re in a good place.”
Howe also indicated that it was too early for midfielder Jonjo Shelvey – who had surgery on his hamstring in the summer – to start a game.
“I think Jonjo would probably say ‘yes’ (he’s ready to start),” said Howe. “He’s certainly getting closer. I think his first proper week’s training was last week, so he’s in a lot better place, but without that match exposure.”
Shelvey will trigger a one-year extension to his Newcastle contract if he makes one more appearance for the club.