Speaking on the Pod on the Tyne podcast, Chris Waugh has been discussing and highlighting how Allan Saint-Maximin has been better than ever before at Newcastle United this season.
The one shining light for Newcastle fans this season has been Saint-Maximin, and his stats back that up. He clearly wants to put the team on his back and drag them to points, much like he did against Leeds United with his goal and near-assist for Joelinton.
This season, Saint-Maximin sits only behind Adama Traore in terms of attempted and successful dribbles as well as players dribbled past (FBRef).
Is Saint-Maximin Newcastle's best player?
Saint-Maximin is looking like he has changed a lot and is no longer someone that just dribbles frequently (he has attempted 188 since he joined the Magpies), as he’s now added goals and assists to his game.
The winger has racked up two goals and two assists in the Premier League so far this term, and considering in the past two campaigns he’s managed just three goals and four assists, the signs of progression are positive.
Waugh has been hyping up and praising Saint-Maximin.
“What’s been refreshing so far this season about Saint-Maximin is not only has he started all five games, he’s finished all five games so far; we’ve had five 90-minute performances from him, which is crucial for Newcastle.
“For far too long, either Saint-Maximin’s been injured and out, or he’s got to about the 60-minute mark and he’s looked burned out and he’s come off limping or looking shattered.
“So that is a positive, he looks fit, he looks hungry, he’s scored two goals and provided two assists, so he [has a] far better ratio than in any of his previous two seasons at Newcastle, but there is a massive overreliance on him.”
TIF Thoughts on Saint-Maximin…
Last season, Newcastle really struggled without Saint-Maximin, with the Magpies only managing to win two out of the 13 games that the winger missed in the league, highlighting just how important he is to the club avoiding relegation.
Earlier in the year, Saint-Maximin admitted that the club should not be involved in any more relegation battles. The signing of Joe Willock will presumably have pleased Saint-Maximin as it was a step in the right direction to progress, however, zero wins from five league matches will do nothing to tempt the Frenchman to stay on Tyneside for any longer than he has to.