Joleon Lescott has revealed that Patrick Vieira told him that Newcastle United new boy Allan Saint-Maximin can be an “exceptional” talent, but needs to focus more.
The French winger joined the Magpies this summer from Nice, where Vieira was his manager, and made his first start for the club in the 1-0 win over Tottenham on Sunday.
But his afternoon was cut short by a hamstring complaint, and he left the field after a quarter of an hour.
And Lescott, who played alongside Vieira at Manchester City, has opened up on what he was told about Saint-Maximin before he arrived in England.
Speaking on Sky Sports (Sunday August 25th, 17.15), he said: “He can be an exceptional talent at times.
“He tends to worry about some issues and appearance more so than on the field attributes.
“Can be a top talent, and can be a match for anyone, I was told, but again, needs to worry about doing more and taking care of himself.”
This is exactly what Newcastle fans won’t have wanted to hear. Saint-Maximin is clearly a huge talent, but the fear with a player like him is that they are all sizzle and no sausage, that they flatter to deceive, and that they ultimately don’t have the end product to justify their regular inclusion. To be fair to the 22-year-old, he has yet spend enough time on the pitch in the Premier League to really tell if that is the case, but what you would say is that Patrick Vieira is one of the most astute readers of the game the division has ever seen, and he let Saint-Maximin go for a reason. Last year he registered 4.2 successful dribbles per game in Ligue 1, as per Whoscored, as well as having 2.2 shots per game, but still only managed six goals and three assists over the course of 34 appearances. Make no mistake, he has all the attributes to be a real star for the Magpies, but there will always be that worry hanging over his head.