Jermaine Jenas was thrilled with what he saw from Newcastle United debutant Allan Saint-Maximin after he made a brief appearance off the bench in the second half against Arsenal on Sunday.
It was a somewhat miserable afternoon for the Toon Army who had to sit in the pouring rain and watch their team look completely clueless at times as they lost 1-0 to the North London side.
However Saint-Maximin’s display, once he was introduced to the action, proved to be a brief glimmer of hope for the supporters and Jenas was impressed with the French forward’s ability to cause problems for the Arsenal defenders.
“He was exciting as soon as he came on,” Jenas said on Match of the Day 2 on Sunday night [11:02pm].
“He looks very dangerous, quick and he’s powerful. Everything that centre-halves hate.
“When I looked at that teamsheet for Arsenal today we all thought ‘if you test they might give you something’ but they didn’t manage to do it enough until this guy comes onto the pitch.
“He’s running at players, asking questions and taking responsibility.
“He looks like the kind of player that I think Newcastle fans will really take to and I’m sure he’s going to be starting in weeks to come.”
It is odd that Saint-Maximin did not start against Arsenal. Whether Steve Bruce thought that the Newcastle summer signing still needed some time to settle into the squad or it was a tactical decision, we will not know for sure. But either way, the Magpies looked a whole lot better when they had the former OGC Nice attacker on the pitch than they did without him. Saint-Maximin was not afraid to get on the ball, run at the Arsenal defenders and drive the Newcastle attack forward. Miguel Almiron tried that a few times in the first half with varying degrees of success but Saint-Maximin just seemed to be a lot more assured when he was on the ball. Hopefully he can produce that type of performance when he is in the starting line-up because it would be fair to say he looks like quite a good impact substitute at the moment. Newcastle were hopeless in the attack in the second half against Arsenal, they need players like Saint-Maximin to step up this season.