Dean Ashton heaped praise on Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin and claimed that the winger was key to the club’s attack.
The Sky Sports pundit suggested that Saint-Maximin should excite fans based on the clips he has seen and stated that the 22-year-old had pace, tricks and good feet but just needed to prove his end product was up to scratch.
Ashton remarked on Saint-Maximin after Sky Sports presenter Rob Wotton asked if the winger would be one of the Magpies’ main threats going forward.
“Yes I think so,” said Ashton on Match Centre (11:48, Sky Sports News, Thursday, October 24th).
“He’s missed a few games but clearly when he has played, he’s first in all of those stats and that’s why he is going to be crucial as you need someone who is going to be good in transition and he showed us that at Stamford Bridge.
“You’re gonna be defending and you need to get the ball out and this (clip plays) is superb by him as he is trying to support Joelinton.
“He’s got pace, good feet, good trickery and clearly now we’re just looking at his end product, can he get the goals? Can he get the assists Newcastle require to stay up?
“But based on what we’ve seen so far, I’d be excited especially watching some of these clips as he seems to be the key to get forward.
“While Almiron has been defensively good, he hasn’t given the attack as much of a boost, so it may be down to him to help the centre-forwards out.”
It’s no surprise that Ashton has been impressed by the glimpses of Saint-Maximin’s talent he has seen as the 22-year-old has looked lively and more importantly a handful for his opponents. The winger has completed 1.2 key passes and 2.6 dribbles per match across his five league outings, and he seems eager to push the Magpies agenda when it comes to them being in the final third (Source: WhoScored). Saint-Maximin may not have registered an assist or goal as of yet but his presence does seem to have had a positive effect, as his energy is inspiring. The Frenchman also has had to deal with his season being disrupted due to injury as he has played limited minutes, he has racked up just 225 minutes in the Premier League thus far, so that may have affected his ability to get a goal or an assist, as it’s been difficult for him to build up any form or confidence. However, hopefully, in the coming weeks, pundits will not be questioning his end product as he’ll be delivering the goods.