Saint-Maximin had been the subject of interest from Tottenham Hotspur before he eventually made the move to St James’ Park. This summer, Spurs Wolves, Crystal Palace and PSG all checked out the forward’s situation on Tyneside, according to The Athletic.
New deal wards off interest for now
The Magpies were well aware of the emerging interest in Saint-Maximin in the summer, and that accelerated their plans to sort out a new and improved six-year deal worth £70,000-a-week, as per The Athletic. That new contract should mean that Steve Bruce’s side are in a strong position when it comes to any future interest.
The 23-year-old has enjoyed a very encouraging start to the Premier League season and has averaged 1.3 key passes, 0.8 shots and 3.5 successful dribbles per game, as per Sofascore. Saint-Maximin’s form was likely to have attracted suitors in January had he not been tied down to a new contract.
Speaking to Football Insider, Bent suggested that top teams will inevitably come in for the Frenchman at some stage. However, he has also backed the Magpies to hold onto their star performer.
He said: “He’s been absolutely unbelievable, Saint-Maximin. He’s brilliant, exciting. Newcastle fans love him. He’s added end product to his game as well with goals and assists.
“He deserves it. I think the toughest thing for Newcastle is going to be holding onto him. I think a lot of the top teams are going to be looking at him.
“He’s got that added dimension, where he’s off-the-cuff, can certainly score goals and provide assists.
“Newcastle, for me, is the perfect place for him. I’d love to see him stay there, I think he will stay there because he enjoys being at that football club.”
Saint-Maximin commitment will be tested
It would be a surprise if the winger did not attract further interest if he continues to improve his end product. So far this season he is showing the ability to use the ball better than he did last term. That has seen him improve his passing accuracy to 88% per game from 79%, as per Sofascore.
As Bent alludes to, the fact that he is a bit of an “off the cuff” maverick, from sporting Gucci headbands to embarrassing rival players and fans alike, also adds to the package clubs look for when they scout a potential transfer target.
The 23 year-old still needs to show he can maintain his improvements over a full season. However, if he does then his new commitment to the club will be tested. It seems as though he is indeed settled with the Magpies, but if a concrete offer comes in it could tempt him to move away.
Geordies, do you think Newcastle can keep hold of Saint-Maximin over the long-term? Let us know with a comment below!
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