Darren Bent has heaped praise on Allan Saint-Maximin for his performance in Newcastle United’s 1-0 victory over Manchester United on Sunday.
The Sky Sports pundit singled out the Frenchman as the player that consistently caught his eye at St James’ Park, despite Matty Longstaff scoring on his debut to take all three points.
Bent praised the 22-year-old, who he claimed destroyed Red Devils’ defender Diogo Dalot, who had to be substituted later in the game after an afternoon of torment in the North East from the former OGC Nice winger.
“For me, that game was all about Saint-Maximin,” he told Football Insider.
“He was absolutely brilliant. He carried the fight from minute one, when he got that ball, drove forward and had a shot, he had Manchester United on the back foot.”
“Dalot, they had to take him off because Maximin was absolutely destroying him. This guy, you talk about speed, power, pace, trickery – if I was a full-back, I wouldn’t want to play against him for the simple fact that I don’t think he knows what he wants to do.”
Sunday’s victory over Manchester United was, in fact, the first time that Newcastle fans had seen Saint-Maximin feature for more than 25 minutes due to his recurring injury problems. The Magpies’ fans were certainly not disappointed by the Frenchman, who looked dangerous every single minute he was on the pitch, gliding past players with ease at times. On Sunday alone, Saint-Maximin completed four dribbles, and also had two shots on goal while delivering two key passes according to WhoScored – one of those leading to Jetro Willems’ assist for Longstaff’s goal. If the 22-year-old can continue with that blistering form, he will become one of the most feared wingers in the top-flight, with his raw pace another factor that makes him hard to handle for opposing defences. Bent is spot on with his verdict of the winger, and Steve Bruce will have his fingers crossed that he is ready for an extended spell in the first-team, with his name surely one of the first on the teamsheet right now.