The Athletic’s Taylor Payne has expressed his concern over the fitness of Newcastle United ace Allan Saint-Maximin.
The 25-year-old is preparing for his fourth season at St James’ Park and has become a hit on Tyneside since his £20m switch in 2019.
However, after a sombre finish to the most recent campaign with just one goal and two assists since the turn of the year and a lowkey pre-season by his standards, Payne took to Twitter to raise his concern, posting:
Allan Saint Maximin doesn't look fully fit to me. Maybe carrying a knock? Just hasn't looked himself yet in pre season. #nufc
— Taylor Payne (@TaylorandPayne) July 27, 2022
TIF Thoughts on ASM and Newcastle…
Do you think Saint-Maximin will leave Newcastle?
After getting 90 minutes in a pre-season friendly against 1860 Munich, Saint-Maximin received a 6/10 match rating from the Chronicle and was described as not being at his best, while he was given the same rating by Jordan Cronin for an ‘inconsistent’ half against Benfica earlier this week, which is where Payne’s worries appear to have stemmed from.
The £28.8m-rated ace has never really struggled with injury on Tyneside apart from a calf problem that kept him out of 11 games between November 2020 and January of the following year and appeared in all but three of the Toon’s Premier League games last season.
Ahead of the club’s opener against newly promoted Nottingham Forest, Newcastle supporters will certainly be hoping Saint-Maximin has blown off the pre-season cobwebs and will hit the ground running, but for now, it does seem fair for Payne to voice his concern.