Questions are being asked about the form of Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Frenchman started on the left of midfield for Eddie Howe’s side on Sunday, on what was another miserable afternoon for the Magpies.
Newcastle lost 4-0 at the King Power Stadium, their heaviest defeat of the season so far. It leaves us in 19th place, with games against Liverpool, Manchester City and Manchester United coming up.
It’s a horrendous position to be in, with no immediate sign of things getting better.
The Leicester game was an opportunity for Newcastle, and an opportunity that they completely blew.
We were all over the shop at the back, while we didn’t look too much better offensively either. The closest we came to scoring was a Frank Sinclair-style back pass from Timothy Castagne that nearly caught Kasper Schmeichel out.
The performance raised a lot of questions about Howe’s team. But one interesting debate some fans are having regards Saint-Maximin.
Is Allan Saint-Maximin part of the problem or the solution?
The 24-year-old provided spark at times for Newcastle, but his mazy dribbling ability failed to inspire a comeback.
At times he was poor in possession, giving it away in bad areas – something that has crept back into his game after returning to a left wing position.
There is no doubting ASM’s talents. He’s the most gifted player at the club and he’s carried us on his back at times.
But he’s in a rut at the moment. He’s not playing as well as he should be, at a time when Newcastle need him most.
Some fans are debating whether or not they can afford to carry the mercurial winger in a relegation battle. While he’s magic at times going forwards, he offers nothing defensively.
Now he’s not that kind of player. But Newcastle need fighters at the moment. And some fans believe Saint-Maximin is a luxury we can’t afford right now.