Former England midfielder Paul Merson and former Premier League forward Dion Dublin were impressed with Allan Saint-Maximin’s performance vs Southampton and compared the speedster with Wolves winger Adama Traore.
The Frenchman scored the decisive goal for Newcastle at St Mary’s last weekend, ensuring Steve Bruce’s Black and Whites climbed above the Saints into 13th place. Bruce’s side are now eight points clear from the relegation battle and are only two points behind Everton with nine games left in the Premier League this season.
Saint-Maximin joined the Tyneside club from Ligue 1 side Nice last summer for a reported £16.2m fee and has featured in 21 games for the Magpies registering 3 goals and 4 assists in all competitions so far (Transfermarkt).
Speaking on Sky Sports’ Soccer Saturday Merson said: “100 per cent they need him. It is hard because sometimes even he doesn’t know what he is going to do. I don’t mean that horribly but it is really off the cuff. He has so much pace I think sometimes they struggle to keep up with him.”
“They play counter-attacking football but when he gets the ball, beats one or two players and he is away, he looks up and there is nobody in the box because they can’t keep up with his pace.”
Dublin added: “He is actually playing now like Traore at Wolves was playing a couple of seasons ago. You never knew what he was going to do in the final third but now he has been coached, he is doing things better, scoring goals and making better decisions.”
“If Brucey gets hold of this young lad and really coaches them well he could be an absolute nightmare for defenders.”
It is difficult to disagree with the ex-players on this one. The Magpies have won eight out of the fifteen matches Saint-Maximin has started in this year (Chronicle).
Traore experienced a difficult start to his Premier League career, only registering a combined total of 3 assists in his first two seasons in the English top flight. However, the Spanish right winger has found his feet under the guidance of Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo, scoring 4 goals and creating 7 assists in 28 appearances this season (Transfermarkt).
If Bruce can nurture the obvious talent Saint-Maximin possesses, it is highly likely Geordie fans will see plenty more moments like his flash of individual brilliance over the weekend in the years to come.
Newcastle fans, do you think Allan Saint-Maximin will be better than Adama Traore? Let us know in the comments section below!
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