The 22-year-old Frenchman spent Wednesday at a local food bank on Tyneside, handing out parcels and meeting supporters, and shared a post to his personal Instagram with the caption: “It feels great to visit you guys!
“I know that it’s not only about NUFC, but that it’s also about the community and the city and I’m really proud to be a part of this.
“Thank you for the love.”
Balotelli then responded to the post with the comment: “Mon amouuuuuur!!!”
First and foremost, what a stand up guy Saint-Maximin seems to be. You can be cynical and suggest that this is just another photo opportunity from a filthy rich footballer, or claim that one day at a food bank has no material impact for those who have to use them, but the fact of the matter is that the Frenchman is doing a lot more than some of his peers, and he seems to have genuinely and wholeheartedly bought into the ethos and atmosphere of the Toon. It is clear that he is desperate to integrate himself fully into his new surroundings, and if there is one thing that will endear a player to the Toon Army, it will be a willingness to roll their sleeves up and crack on with things. With 4.2 successful dribbles and 1.7 key passes per match in France last year, as per Whoscored, he has the ability to back up his actions on the pitch as well, and if he can marry the two together, he promises to be a real hit in the north east.