Allan Saint-Maximin has summed up this incredible journey after Newcastle United qualified for the Champions League on Monday night.
Newcastle got the job done against Leicester, with a 0-0 draw enough to secure a top four finish. It was by no means a classic, but it was enough to ensure we will be playing Champions League football next season.
The release of emotion at full time was incredible, as Toon fans celebrated returning to Europe’s elite competition for the first time in 20 years. It was one of those nights when you did not want to leave St James’ Park, hanging on the Newcastle players’ every move as they took centre stage and basked in the glory of their remarkable achievement.
One of those was Saint-Maximin, who was brought on when Eddie Howe‘s side were searching for a winner. He injected pace and invention down the left flank, but was unable to supply the moment of magic that was missing from a glorious evening on Tyneside.
It did not matter, and now the 26-year-old has reflected on the journey Newcastle have been on in such a short space of time.
Saint-Maximin looks at how far Newcastle have came
After the game, Saint-Maximin took to his official Twitter account to send a message to supporters.
He wrote: “We went through a lot, we even fought hard for not going down in Championship…but now look where we are.”
Exciting to see ASM in the Champions League
When the takeover went through, Saint-Maximin was the one player who you felt could go on this journey with the club. Fast forward a season and a half later and it turns out there are plenty of the original crop who have played a major role in reaching the Champions League.
It will mean so much for Maxi, who was the club’s talisman during a really difficult period. Had it not been for him during the Steve Bruce days, goodness knows where we would be.
The Frenchman has been less influential this season, having been hindered by injuries. But he has stepped up when it mattered, helping us score points against Manchester City and Wolves. Looking back, that equaliser at Molineux was a huge moment in our season.
Newcastle did brilliantly not to slip down into the Championship last year, and have now kicked on even further, reaching heights that no one could have anticipated.
Saint-Maximin recognises this, and it makes the good times even sweeter.