Three matches in a row weren’t the only thing Newcastle United lost over the course of the festive period. Indeed, manager Steve Bruce lost the services of five players during the New Year’s Day clash with Leicester City, making it a fairly miserable few weeks for the Toon Army.
So, while transfer rumours are dominating back pages in this proverbial silly season, news released by the club yesterday on Twitter provided a real boost. Posting images from Benton, the Magpies confirmed that key man Allan Saint-Maximin had returned to training on the grass ahead of the trip to Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.
The Frenchman has been missing since picking up a hamstring injury (his second of the season per Transfermarkt) in the dying stages of last month’s win at home Southampton and the team have struggled as a result. They’ve won just once in six games, scoring only four times across all competitions, lacking an attacking threat.
So, while the former Nice star is far from a prolific goalscorer, his 4.5 dribbles on average per Premier League game (via WhoScored) far outmatch any of his teammates and Bruce’s side had managed to string some good results together when they had a settled side before the mad rush of festive football.
While it’s unclear as to whether he’ll feature this weekend, the ‘good progress’ on his return from injury is a real boost for Newcastle United.
Is ASM Newcastle’s best player in years? Join the discussion by commenting below…