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Still Room For Maxi Despite Barnes' 'Imminent' Arrival

Updated: Sep 10, 2023

With Harvey Barnes expected to leave Leicester City and continue to pursue playing in the Premier League, Newcastle United is looking the most likely destination according to reports. Newcastle who currently have only acquired one new first team squad member in Sandro Tonali from AC Milan, the club are looking to bolster their attacking options as they enter the new campaign. FFP (Financial Fair Play) is being reported to be the stumbling block with Newcastle bringing in further talent, meaning players will need to depart to make room. With reports stating that there are certain individuals the club are trying to trade, Allan Saint-Maximin is supposedly one of the top names on the list.

This I believe could be an error on the club's part, and although there will be a segment of fans who maybe happy to let Saint-Maximin leave in order to welcome Barnes, if Newcastle could make it work financially I think there's room for both players. Saint-Maximin has been integral on Tyneside since arriving back in 2019. He was arguably Newcastle's most important and influential player under the turbulent period when Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley occupied the hot seats. Providing moments of magic when needed and during that time really looking like the only player with ability to produce in all areas of the final third. Questions have been raised regarding Saint-Maximin's performances since Eddie Howe's arrival, and there is consensus amongst the majority that the Frenchman does has not provided enough going forward consistently to warrant the lack of defensive work which is required. This is of course in Eddie's DNA to run both ways and press with intensity, and is a non-negotiable for any member of the squad.

What Saint-Maximin does provide is ''Maverick'' like performances, most notably against the bigger clubs in the league. His performance against Manchester City early last season was nothing short of brilliance, with Kyle Walker looking dazed every time his opponent ran with the ball. If you place Saint-Maximin in the starting eleven against the top teams in Europe, I've got no doubt he will shine and look to show what he is capable of. I would concede that maybe playing the 26 year old against Luton at Kenilworth Road on a tight pitch, with the opposition likely to play with an aggressive approach is not the right option. Starting him however against Paris Saint-Germain at Parc des Princes would provide the right type of theatre.

There's no doubt Saint-Maximin has the talent and has only but love for the Toon faithful, but what he does need to do is convince Eddie and the coaching staff that he is the right man to rely upon in these big games. Newcastle United will need a squad to compete in all competitions this season, and I would imagine most top teams wouldn't mind both Harvey Barnes and Allan Saint-Maximin in their squads.



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