The performances of Newcastle United star Allan Saint-Maximin are going to be crucial in preserving the Magpies’ Premier League status.
However, following the Toon Army’s 4-0 drubbing at Leicester, some Newcastle fans expressed their concerns surrounding the Frenchman’s current form.
Such concerns have led to calls for Eddie Howe to drop the 24-year-old in tomorrow’s trip to Anfield, in what could be another chastening evening for Newcastle.
Saint-Maximin’s performance against the Foxes was erratic and after getting himself into some promising positions, the French under-21 international lacked a final product and on numerous occasions made the wrong decision.
But with the former Nice man on the pitch, we are always going to carry a threat and have a sense of unpredictably. He completed the most dribbles in the Premier League across gameweek 16.
Saint-Maximin one of the worst offenders in Europe
With aspirations of playing for the France national team and desires to lead Newcastle into a new era of challenging for major trophies, Saint-Maximin’s footballing intelligence is going to have to improve.
He may complete the second most dribbles across Europe’s top five leagues, but there have been far too many occasions where Saint-Maximin has lost the ball in crucial areas.
Saint-Maximin isn’t always going to be able to dribble his way out of trouble, but if he can lift his head up and strike the balance between knowing when to pass to a teammate and isolating a defender one-v-one then he could reach the dizzy heights he craves.
However, Newcastle’s number 10 currently sits in the top five for the number of times he averages getting dispossessed per game across Europe’s top five leagues.
Only Franck Ribery, Lucas Boye (both 3.1), Nabil Fekir (3.3) and Wilfried Zaha (3.9) currently average more than Saint-Maximin (3.1) according to WhoScored.
Only against Aston Villa, in the second match of the season, has Saint-Maximin managed to get through a game without being dispossessed.
It’s an area of his game that Eddie Howe and his team of analysts will no doubt be looking to address on the training ground.
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