While the club are still pushing ahead with the proposed transfer for the Nice winger, Bruce is said to have received negative comments about the 22-year-old.
The Daily Mail have reported that Saint-Maximin would cost £25 million, with Watford and Crystal Palace also targeting him.
Saint-Maximin played 34 league games for Nice last season, scoring six times and assisting three as they finished seventh in Ligue 1.
He was impressive going forward, as he completed 1.7 key passes and 4.2 dribbles per game – while his numbers could decrease in the Premier League given the strength of the competition, having the Frenchman alongside Miguel Almiron who (made 1.3 key passes and 0.7 dribbles per 90 mins) after arriving at St. James’ Park could potentially make for some entertaining play.
However, Bruce’s Sheffield Wednesday side in the second half of last season was built on defensive solidity, as they kept nine clean sheets in 18 games, conceding just 17 goals, the type of defensive record he may hope to replicate while on Tyneside.
Saint-Maximin only made 0.4 tackles and 0.1 interceptions per game last season, something he would need to improve upon if he was to become a part of Bruce’s system.
While it is important for everyone to play their part defensively when a team is expecting a struggle, there need to be players who can create chances and excitement – with the Frenchman being able to do both. Having lost 22 goals worth of talent in the shape of Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon already this summer, the Magpies do clearly need to strengthen their options going forward.
With that in mind, Bruce shouldn’t dismiss Saint-Maximin, as his link-up play with Almiron could potentially bring plenty of excitement to St. James’ Park if it is allowed to.
Should Steve Bruce’s opinion on the matter have that much sway, given that he’s arrived as a head-coach? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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