Signing Allan Saint-Maximin is the “biggest gamble” taken by Mike Ashley at Newcastle United summer, according to Chronicle journalist Mark Douglas.
“At 16 he was compared to the very best and France dreamed of their own Lionel Messi but the years since have been inconsistent.
“The hope is the indulgence of the locals, who love their mercurial French schemers, and good work on the training ground will right the problems that persuaded Patrick Vieira to sell him.
You can see where Douglas is coming from on this one. Saint-Maximin has the potential to be very, very special, and on the face of it, he is exactly the kind of player that the Toon faithful adore. Last year, the wide man averaged 4.2 successful dribbles, 2.2 shots on goal, and 1.7 key passes per match in Ligue 1, as per Whoscored, but there is a reason that he has been allowed to leave France, and other stats, such as his pass completion rate of 76% or his average of just 0.7 successful crosses per match are a little more worrying. Clearly, he has it in his locker to be the Magpies’ talismanic attacking force this term, but equally, if he indulges himself in some of the frivolous lapses in concentration that have plighted his game in the past, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see his head go down and fans getting on his back.