There has been speculation, as usual, that this upcoming summer 2023 transfer window could be the one when he finally leaves St James’ Park.
Now Allan Saint-Maximin appears to have added plenty of fuel himself, to that particular fire…
Allan Saint-Maximin personal statement via his social media – 5 June 2023:
“When I joined Newcastle United in 2019, nobody understood my choice.
“I always believed in this club, as soon as I step onto the pitch, the fans directly adopted me.
“Since then there has been highs and lows, when we were in the relegation zone, but I always believed in the team and trusted the project even if it was hard to stay in the PL, I knew that the club deserved much better and we had to prove it.
“I gave everything on the pitch to keep the team at the highest level. I am grateful that some people remember that.
“When the club has been bought by the new owners, the fans finally got what they deserved!
“I want really want to thank all of my best supporters for supporting and believing in me, it’s because of you that I wake up everyday more determined than ever, but even the people that criticize when it’s fair, because sometimes the negative is beneficial to get up.
“I always tried my best to help the club in the best way possible, even by playing injured…
“This year has been one of the most difficult year emotionally, you are not able to know that as I keep personal things for myself, but I lost some really important people, and that is nothing compared to all the things that happened in my life this year… But I always tried to be present on the pitch and give everything. I am so proud of the team and that we achieved the Champions League [qualification].
“I am now entering a turning point in my career and I will give everything until the end to achieve my dreams.
“It’s often said that human beings forget quickly, but me I won’t be able to forget everyone that love me for who I am and believe in me in difficult moments, it’s in these hard situations that we see the real supporters.
“Thanks to everyone for the support, whatever happens, I will always give everything when I have the chance to step onto the pitch.
“Thanks God for everything.”
I suppose the first thing to acknowledge is that Allan Saint-Maximin is a regular user of social media and there have been countless examples in the past, where he has released previous enigmatic postings that fans and media have construed as suggesting an imminent exit, which hasn’t happened.
Secondly though, this is a far lengthier message than normal and it is understandable why many people would see it as farewell statement to fans.
A third point though, is that as we all know, Allan Saint-Maximin comes across as somebody who wears his heart on his sleeve and this very much comes across as yet another thing he has suddenly decided to do, rather than any kind of carefully thought out statement guided by his agents.
Fourthly, even though this looks to be off the cuff and written from the heart, it could still be a case of him only doing this after having come to a decision to now leave Newcastle United.
As always, the Newcastle United fanbase will be split, those who point to his strengths, then the others who prefer to concentrate on the Frenchman’s weaknesses on the pitch.
Allan Saint-Maximin obviously mentions that he has had a lot of challenges this past year in his personal life, which no doubt many Newcastle fans will now link with some of the extended stays in France this past season, when ASM has been reported to be recovering from injury.
What is for sure, is that Allan Saint-Maximin has found it increasingly more difficult to get a start in the Premier League. Although Eddie Howe has repeatedly talked of ASM needing to be at full fitness to be able to considered to start on a regular basis.
The bottom line is that Allan Saint-Maximin has played in 25 of the 26 Premier League matches when he has been available BUT only 12 of them in the starting eleven, coming off the bench 13 times in his 14 occasions when named on the bench.
In 85 Premier League starts (and 26 PL sub appearances) at Newcastle United, scoring 12 goals and getting 18 assists. This season was just the one goal but five assists.
When it comes to Allan Saint-Maximin, he is in a bit of a unique position in this current NUFC set-up.
A player who isn’t guaranteed a first team place now BUT someone who command a significant transfer fee.
I can’t think of any other player Eddie Howe might consider letting go (Lascelles, Fraser, Hayden, Manquillo, Darlow etc etc) who would attract any serious money. Whereas surely ASM would attract plenty interest and for me, the bidding would start at no less than £40m.
Allan Saint-Maximin is only 26 and still has three years left on his contract, so Newcastle United under no pressure and hold all the aces when it comes to any war of wills with any clubs interested.
Certainly, I could only see Eddie Howe having any interest in letting him go, if an Allan Saint-Maximin departure was going to generate £40m+ to add to the pot of money which exists to strengthen the team / squad this summer. Short shrift will be given to any club having the nerve to think they can take ASM away on loan.
Eddie Howe and Newcastle United may not have another ASM but they do now have plenty of other options to play in the wide positions. Plus, whereas many of these other players can effortlessly move in and out of the team with little noticeable difference in terms of formation and tactics, when Allan Saint-Maximin has played, then it does lead to the team playing in a different way.
I am happy either way.
If Allan Saint-Maximim stays, then I see him as an asset who will be a positive next season, especially with the added Champions League commitments.
Unlike in the past, if indeed Eddie Howe did decide it was time for ASM to move on, then I’d have every confidence in the transfer fee being spent wisely on new recruits.