Newcastle United's telling transfer move – and what next for Allan Saint-Maximin

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Amid renewed speculation over his Newcastle United future, Allan Saint-Maximin is keen to let his feet do his talking.

Saint-Maximin responded to reports linking him with a move away from the club with a 12-word message.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“People can keep talking when they know nothing,” said Saint-Maximin on Instagram. “I just keep working.”

Saint-Maximin, of course, had himself fuelled speculation over his future earlier this summer when he said that his career at a “turning point”.

“I am now entering a turning point in my career and I will give everything until the end to achieve my dreams,” said Saint-Maximin, signed four years ago from Nice.

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and winger Allan Saint-Maximin during a game against West Ham United at the London Stadium last seaason. (Pic: Getty Images)Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and winger Allan Saint-Maximin during a game against West Ham United at the London Stadium last seaason. (Pic: Getty Images)
Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe and winger Allan Saint-Maximin during a game against West Ham United at the London Stadium last seaason. (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty

'Unique' talent

Saint-Maximin – who told the Gazette in December how at "home" he was at the club – has had to overcome a series of injuries over the past couple of years, and fans have only seen glimpses of what Eddie Howe has rightly described as a “unique” talent.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And the 26-year-old’s future does appear to be in the balance, though Eddie Howe is not about to force him out.

The winger – who reported back to the club for the start of pre-season training on Sunday – is one of the most saleable of the players on the fringes of the starting XI.

Ultimately, the decision will be down to Saint-Maximin, and the attractiveness of a move away from Newcastle will depend on what kind of offers are out there.

Certainly, the prospect of Champions League football with United is an attractive proposition for a player who ultimately wants to represent France, his country.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

And Saint-Maximin, if he can stay fit, will get more games next season given the club's congested 2023/24 fixture schedule.

Howe was asked by the Gazette after the final game of the season against Chelsea in late May what role he saw Saint-Maximin playing in the 2023/24 season.

“That will be dictated by Maxi himself,” Howe said. “He has so much ability, and he’s such an important player for us when he’s at his very best, fitness-wise. He’s unique, there’s no one like him in the Premier League.”

There isn't anyone quite like Saint-Maximin, an extraordinary dribbler capable of turning a game on its head with his pace and footwork.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Then-Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce looks on as Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin attacks West Ham United during a game at St James' Park in August 2021. (Pic: Getty Images)Then-Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce looks on as Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin attacks West Ham United during a game at St James' Park in August 2021. (Pic: Getty Images)
Then-Newcastle United head coach Steve Bruce looks on as Newcastle United's Allan Saint-Maximin attacks West Ham United during a game at St James' Park in August 2021. (Pic: Getty Images) | Getty

Squad game

The team was overreliant on Saint-Maximin during Steve Bruce's time as head coach.

Not now. Saint-Maximin is more a squad player than an automatic starter, something which would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago.

And United's move for Leicester City's Harvey Barnes is telling given that the 25-year-old, like Saint-Maximin, often plays on the left.

If Barnes joins this week, the club, which has triggered a one-year extension to winger Matt Ritchie's contract, could potentially move out an attacking player.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Howe, for his part, is keen to see more players arrive at the club this summer ahead of its biggest campaign in two decades.

But United, 80%-owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, are limited in what they can do due to Financial Fair Play rules despite the wealth of their majority owners.  

For the moment, there are more questions than answers.

As for Saint-Maximin, his social media game is good, very good.

Now Saint-Maximin needs to quickly get up and running on the pitch as well – starting against Gateshead at the International Stadium on Saturday.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.