Newcastle United Opinion: The Magpies must go all out for Saint-Maximin
GFFN understands that OGC Nice have dropped their asking price from a staggering €40million to a rather modest-looking €25million to make the 22-year-old a more viable option for the potential suitors.
It seems that Nice manager Patrick Vieira is keen on getting rid of the player after falling out with him towards the end of the previous campaign (h/t GFFN).
Furthermore, Nice’s reduced asking price could prompt other clubs to join the race and trigger an intense bidding spree before the transfer deadline in August.
Allan Saint-Maximin has been linked with a move to Newcastle United for quite some time now but no move has materialized yet, given their shoestring budget and Nice’s sky-high asking price.
That, however, is likely to change, now that the Ligue 1 outfit are prepared to let their prized asset depart on the cheap.
Regarded as a player with the potential to play at the highest level in his homeland, Saint-Maximin has been making a lot of noise in the French top-flight over the past 12 months with his dazzling displays down the flanks.
The 22-year-old racked up 6 goals and 3 assists in 34 appearances to propel Nice to a 7th-place finish in Ligue 1 this past season, earning plenty of plaudits for his lightning pace, incredible acceleration, natural finesse, eye-watering dribbling skills and a knack for delivering match-winning passes.
A youth product of Saint-Etienne, Saint-Maximin made only 17 senior competitive appearances for his boyhood club and spent time largely with the reserves before making move to Monaco in 2015.
That move hardly paid any dividends for the player, though, as he was forced to spend time on loan at Hannover 96 and Bastia in the following seasons before Nice offered him an escape route in 2017.
And the French U21 international has grabbed his opportunity with both hands, establishing himself as one of the mainstays of the team’s attack and accumulating a total of 11 goals and 14 assists in 74 appearances across all competitions. Those readings might not flatter much but one has to take his age into account.
To put things into perspective, it would be a shame for Newcastle United if they do not go ahead and match Nice’s new asking price for the 22-year-old emerging star this summer and the Magpies are unlikely to get a better shot at signing the player if they are genuinely interested in his services.
Despite being linked with a wide array of players since the appointment of Steve Bruce, Newcastle remain the only team in the Premier League to have not completed a signing till now.
The big-money sale of Ayoze Perez to Leicester City has boosted the club’s transfer kitty and the fans at Tyneside have every reason to expect more activity from their club in the transfer window over the next couple of weeks.
Newcastle are currently light in their attacking options following the departure of Salomon Rondon, Perez, Joselu and Robert Kenedy and it is a no-brainer that the acquisition of a jet-heeled versatile winger like Saint-Maximin would go a long way towards helping them cope with so many departures.
Saint-Maximin is essentially a right-winger by trade, but like most modern-day dynamic wide players, he is capable of playing virtually anywhere across the front line.
Not only would he be a massive upgrade on the likes of Christian Atsu and Jacob Murphy, but his stats of 1.7 key passes and 4.2 dribbles per game last season show that he is more than capable of adding that energy, X-Factor and cutting-edge to the Magpies attacking ranks.
Newcastle have repeatedly been linked with a club-record move for Brazilian forward Joelinton in recent weeks (h/t Chronicle Live) and whilst that should excite the fans, a potential deal for Allan Saint-Maximin would also be a massive statement of intent from the Magpies.
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To sum it up, Newcastle would make themselves look foolish if they don’t capitalise on the chance to sign the 22-year-old Frenchman this summer, given that he is only going to get better with time.