It’s very clear that Newcastle are a better team with Allan Saint-Maximin than without him.
The winger missed the entire festive period due to injury, but returned in the win against Chelsea in the middle of January.
Saint-Maximin hasn’t been at his best since returning, although we’ve seen regular flashes of his sublime talent.
He was the difference in our last game against Oxford, with his stunning solo goal settling the tie.
Newcastle’s next game is on Sunday against Arsenal, and the Frenchman has admitted that he’s feeling good ahead of the trip to the capital.
“I feel much better,” he told the Shields Gazette.
“I’ve been injured two times. You know hamstrings are really difficult, because I use my pace to run.
“I run a lot, strong sprints, and I have to be careful. I keep going, I keep working, and now I feel much better.”
This is a big boost for Newcastle ahead of the Arsenal game. The fitter Saint-Maximin is, the more dangerous he is. And in turn, it makes Newcastle a much stronger side offensively.
The Gunners could be there for the taking on Sunday.
Mikel Arteta has endured a tough start to life at the Emirates, only ahead of Newcastle on goal difference.
They have their usual problems at the back, meaning Saint-Maximin could get some real joy down the left flank.
With our pace going forward, we could cause Arsenal real problems on the break. More importantly, we need to remain tight defensively and stay in the game.
But with Saint-Maximin feeling much fitter, we can certainly carry a threat offensively.