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Some Newcastle supporters laud icon who “made dummies out of a load of players”

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Ever since he arrived from Nice for £16.5m this summer, Allan Saint-Maximin has been lighting up Newcastle’s left wing. His dazzling displays and trademark headband have rapidly made the Frenchman a cult hero on Tyneside, and his status has only improved after firing in his first goal for the Magpies in December.

Only Lionel Messi, 5.5, and Adama Traore, 5.1, have completed more dribbles per match across Europe’s top five leagues this season than Saint Maximin’s 4.8. His eye-catching style and superb close control have led to comparisons with another French winger wizard who used to maraud the channel at St James’ Park, David Ginola.

Fans on Twitter had their say as to who was the better player for Newcastle, and opinion was relatively unanimous.

For those who had witnessed Ginola in the flesh once he had made his £2.57m switch from Paris Saint-Germain, there was no question as to which player was better for Newcastle.

Though some supporters did cut Saint-Maximin some slack and suggested that with the right conditions around him, the 23-year-old could improve upon his four goals and four assists this term. However, Ginola was never prolific for Newcastle registering just seven goals and one assist during his two-year stint at St James’ Park.

For most though, Ginola’s end product was almost irrelevant; instead, they revelled in nostalgia by remembering the way he would toy with opponents and leave them watching on helplessly throughout his 67 appearances for the Magpies.

At 23, Saint-Maximin is still in the early stages of his career and has a long way to go before he can replicate the influence his compatriot had on the Premier League, which may be why many supporters didn’t back him. Ginola was twice named in the PFA Team of the Season, for the 1995/96 and 1998/99 campaigns, along with winning the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award in 1998/99.

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