Charlie Nicholas gushed about Newcastle United attacker Allan Saint-Maximin ahead of the Magpies facing Aston Villa on Sunday.
The Sky Sports pundit referenced Lionel Messi and Eden Hazard while raving about Saint-Maximin’s talents as he claimed those were the type of players that make similar runs to him.
Nicholas described Saint-Maximin as an out and out showman, before listing off several attributes he belives the winger possesses.
“He’s so unpredictable,” said Nicholas on Soccer Saturday (Sky Sports News, 13:25, Saturday, November 23rd).
“When you’re talking about runs like this, you’re talking about Messi, Hazard those type of players who can do that type of thing.
“He’s an out and out showman, but he’s clever, he’s got pace, he’s got lovely ability, he’s got a good balance.”
Nicholas then questioned whether Saint-Maximin was capable of getting goals.
The fact Nicholas references high-profile players such as Barcelona’s Messi and Real Madrid’s Hazard to rave about how good Saint-Maximin is when dribbling the ball forward, it shows how highly he rates him. While the Sky pundit then proceeded to backtrack on his praise by questioning the Frenchman’s finishing ability, it was only a small downer on what was very high praise. Granted while every Newcastle fan would love Saint-Maximin to be a goal machine, he is pulling his weight for the team in other ways, After all, it’s his dazzling runs that more often than not are what are putting Steve Bruce’s side on the front foot, and he is creating space for his other more clinical teammates to make the most of. The 22-year-old has averaged a ridiculously good 3.6 dribbles per game this season across his eight Premier League outings, as per WhoScored, and while Nicholas doubts his ability to get goals, the winger has averaged 1.6 shots per game, so maybe it’s just a matter of time before he gets on the scoresheet.