Fan favourite Allan Saint-Maximin departed Newcastle United this summer in favour of a move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Ahli, and striker Callum Wilson has now paid tribute to his former teammate.
The 26-year-old lost his starting place last season, and the arrivals of Anthony Gordon and Harvey Barnes meant a departure felt inevitable for the winger.
Wilson has now told the Footballer’s Football Podcast that whilst Saint-Maximin was a surprisingly quiet player off the pitch, he will be missed by his teammates and should be remembered fondly for his contributions to the club over the years.
“Maxi I’ve played with and we’ve had such good memories on the pitch, off the pitch in the dressing room,” he stated.
“He was a quiet player, but always we’d have a laugh and I would get him to smile and things like that. And yeah, obviously football moves on so quickly, but I think the most important thing is probably remembering what he did do for the club when he was here.
“He did fantastic when we were struggling in a relegation battle season on season, and he, along with myself, was the forefront of trying to keep the club in the Premier League that season, remember, under Steve Bruce.”
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The departure suited everyone
Given his reduced status in the squad, as Newcastle climbed up the table, the Frenchman was unlikely to start regularly next season, and his move to Saudi Arabia will see him become one of the biggest stars in the league.
Eddie Howe was clearly no longer reliant on the player, but he will have departed with high respect from his manager, teammates and fans.
Saint-Maximin’s sale has helped fund moves for Barnes and Tino Livramento in terms of financial fair play, and whilst Newcastle fans may have been gutted to see such a popular player go, most would agree that it was the right time to part ways.