The flamboyant Frenchman joined the north east giants from Nice last summer boasting fantastic natural ability. However, Bruce thinks he will also be very frustrating to manage at times.
“He’s only 22 and he’s got more outfits than I’ve seen in most,” he said, as per The Chronicle. “He’s different and I’m sure at times he’s going to cause me a few problems but, in all of that, deep down, he’s a decent kid.
“He’s OK, a bit different, but we all have to manage these different individuals and he’s certainly one. He likes an earring. He gives me £100 every other day when he forgets to take it out! In that respect, I’ve got a few quid off him already, but he’s a good kid, he’s alright. The players like him. He’s daft, he’s off the wall and he’s a likeable character.”
Bruce seems to be unsure himself what to make of Saint-Maximin. We all know that he’s got great ability, we’ve seen that in the few glimpses we’ve gotten of him at Newcastle thus far, but he certainly seems like a colourful character too. Bruce contradicts himself throughout here, though. He says Saint-Maximin is going to cause him’a few problems’ but then describes him as a ‘decent kid’, although using the caveat ‘deep down’. He then goes on to describe him as ‘a bit different’, before calling him ‘daft’, ‘off the wall’, but a ‘likeable character’. Really, Steve, make your mind up. As he says, though, managing these different types of personalities is the job of a modern day head coach. He needs to be able to relate to these men and to get the best out of them on the field of play, no matter whether he naturally gels with them or not. That is the test of a good Premier League boss, and Bruce needs to do more of it at Newcastle.