Ever since Eddie Howe walked through the doors at Newcastle United, it has been a tale of constant improvement.
Signings aside, the former Bournemouth coach has proven transformative for a number of players he inherited from Steve Bruce.
All of Joelinton, Sean Longstaff, Fabian Schar and Emil Krafth have seen their careers at the club turn around thanks to Howe.
Still, there has been one disappointment.
Sadly, it’s Allan Saint-Maximin.
So often the shining light in an otherwise bleak Bruce team, the Frenchman has rarely got off the ground under Howe.
While this season started promisingly with a stunning performance against Manchester City before a brilliant goal against Wolves, injury has disrupted the winger’s campaign.
Increasingly, it seems as if the 26-year-old simply doesn’t fit in this Newcastle team, which would be a waste.
Saint-Maximin told he was better than Marcus Thuram
Indeed, Gilles Bibé works in the Boulogne-Billancourt academy, where Saint-Maximin and World Cup finalist Marcus Thuram spent some of their careers.
Thuram is said to be a Newcastle target and the 25-year-old is reportedly expected to leave Borussia Mönchengladbach this summer but Saint-Maximin seemingly left far more of an impression.
Speaking to L’Equipe (via Sport Witness), Bibé said: “Technically, he [Thuram] was average for the team, nothing more, he was a bit of a diesel engine, Saint-Maximin was much more explosive.
“With his imposing size, his one-on-one abilities and his rhythm Marcus did us good. But Saint-Maximin was far above the lot.”
A tale of wasted talent?
The sight of Saint-Maximin failing to convince is sad to see.
Clearly a hugely talented player, it’s a wonder why he cannot translate that into a Newcastle team now functioning. If Thuram were to replace Saint-Maximin at St James’ Park, it would certainly be an ironic end to his time here.