Newcastle manager Steve Bruce has said that Allan Saint-Maximin was ‘right’ to express his frustration with the club’s status as relegation candidates.
Saint-Maximin said prior to Newcastle’s 4-2 win over Leicester City that Newcastle ‘should not have to fight’ simply to survive. He intriguingly added that ‘for my future, I know I need to play and play good football’.
Newcastle have since secured their top-flight status, with Fulham becoming the third and final team to be relegated after their home defeat against Burnley on Monday night.
Saint-Maximin was instrumental in a run of eight points from four games in April which may just have saved the Magpies’ season.
The Frenchman scored one goal and set up another off the bench as Newcastle came from behind to beat Burnley last month. He then inspired the Magpies to a 3-2 victory over West Ham United the following week.
Saint-Maximin has scored three goals and provided four assists across 23 appearances in all competitions this season.
Bruce insisted that he shared Saint-Maximin’s misgivings and he was also keen to rebuff any interest in the 24-year-old, whose contract still has more than five years to run.
“He is right,” the manager told talkSPORT on Monday. “Nobody wants Newcastle to be in a relegation fight.
“He is a very gifted individual and young, of course. The last thing we want to be doing is selling our best players, that is for sure.”
Saint-Maximin knows that he’s too good to be scrapping for the lower reaches of mid-table, but Newcastle have shown signs in recent weeks that, if they keep their big players fit and bolster their line-up in the summer, they can very much look upwards rather than over their shoulders next season.
The £25.2m-rated attacker may inevitably move on one day, but he could equally be a ready-made superstar for Newcastle’s prospective new owners to build their team around if they can persuade him to stay put at St James’ Park.
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