Allan Saint-Maximin has had a big impact since arriving at Newcastle, becoming the latest name on the list of French wingers to play at St James’ Park.

Which of those previous players he emulates, will be a huge determining factor on how his career on Tyneside will be remembered in future years.

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In relatively recent times we have seen a metaphoric conveyor belt of wingers from across the Channel come and go, with varying outcomes during their stays at the club.

David Ginola and Laurent Robert were fantastic for Newcastle

David Ginola is a legend with Toon fans, and he lit up the pitch every time he graced it. He was an integral part of that great Kevin Keegan Entertainers side, and would be included in most fans’ greatest Newcastle sides.

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He set the benchmark for French wingers at the club, and it would not be unfair to say, whether those that followed were considered successes or not, none of them would ever reach the heights Ginola did.

Laurent Robert had four successful years on Tyneside, and scored some wonderful goals during that time. He would be another of the French wing successes at the club.

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No one of the right age will forget the 30-yard thunderbolt free-kick he scored at Liverpool in the FA Cup in 2004.

His pace with the ball at his feet was frightening, and if you saw Newcastle’s number 32 bearing down the wing, it was a sight to behold.

Hatem Ben Arfa scored some superb goals for the club

Then there was Hatem Ben Arfa, who became a cult hero with Newcastle fans, many of who thought he was never given enough time on the pitch under manager Alan Pardew.

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He scored some scintillating goals of all types, like the mazy run from the halfway line in the FA Cup tie against Blackburn, or the 25-yard wonder strike at Everton during his first start for the club.

His career fizzled after leaving the north east, but he will always be idolised by Geordie fans.

 

Contrast those three with Saint-Maximin’s two most recent predecessors, and it is easy to see where he must take his inspiration from.

Florian Thauvin and Remy Cabella were disastrous signings

Florian Thauvin’s brief spell at Newcastle lasted from 2015’s summer transfer window to the January 2016 one that immediately followed it.

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Three starts from the 13 Premier League games he appeared in tells its own story, with just a solitary League Cup goal to his name from his fleeting flirtation with English football.

Thauvin had a big reputation, but looked woefully unequipped for the English top flight, and two loan spells back at Marseilles culminated in a permanent return for him, which has now seen him now pick up 10 caps for France.

It was a similar story for Remy Cabella, who Newcastle had been chasing for some time, before finally landing their man, who would ultimately end up at Marseille with Thauvin.

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Cabella lasted one season on Tyneside, featuring in 31 Premier League games, 21 of which he started, and was another who failed to live up to the hype.

Cabella has continued to struggle, and is now playing in the Russian League for Krasnodar, where he is currently recovering from rupturing his cruciate ligament.

If Saint-Maximin can become another Ginola or Robert, he will be idolised at St James’ Park for years to come. If his Toon career goes the way of Cabella or Thauvin, he will be forgotten within months.

He has started the right way, however, and from what fans have seen so far, he is writing his own Newcastle United chapter, and rather than emulating others, he is becoming the first Allan Saint-Maximin.

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