Allan Saint-Maximin is now under pressure at Newcastle for the first time
Allan Saint-Maximin is now under real pressure at Newcastle for the first time
Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Allan Saint-Maximin is now under real pressure at Newcastle for the first time

Allan Saint-Maximin has always been the main man at Newcastle United, but now he is under pressure for the first time in his Toon career.

The Frenchman’s season has been disrupted by injury, missing eight games with a hamstring problem. But he is back now, coming off the bench in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa.

It was a quick cameo from Maxi, who quickly reminded fans what he’s all about…not like anyone could forget.

When Saint-Maximin was in the starting XI this season, it wasn’t quite clear where Newcastle were as a side. We hadn’t hit our stride.

The Frenchman was majestic in the 3-3 draw with Manchester City, then pulled out a moment of magic in the 1-1 tie with Wolves.

Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

And that was the last time Saint-Maximin was named in Eddie Howe’s starting lineup. The Magpies have since gone on to win five out of nine games, and are fourth in the Premier League table.

Howe now has the luxury of picking ASM again, but the 25-year-old is suddenly in uncharted territory.

Why Saint-Maximin is now under pressure at Newcastle

Signed by Steve Bruce in 2019 for £16million, Saint-Maximin quickly established himself as the star attraction at St James’ Park.

His ability to win games on his own infatuated fans and won him the trust of Bruce, who endeavoured to get the best out of him.

Saint-Maximin was Bruce’s main man, and was often the only source of joy in black and white. Newcastle didn’t know how to function without him, meaning it was vital he played as much as possible. If he was ever injured, watching the Magpies was a miserable experience.

But now Howe is manager, and he has found a way of being successful without Saint-Maximin. Newcastle no longer need to rely on the French winger to win games of football.

That’s good, as it means Saint-Maximin is under less pressure to deliver. However, he is suddenly under a new kind of pressure.

With Newcastle capable of winning without him, Howe will not feel obliged to start his number 10. Joelinton has done well out there in recent weeks, while Jacob Murphy has certainly caught the eye with his performances.

For the first time since joining Newcastle, Saint-Maximin is not a guaranteed starter. As the old saying goes, you don’t change a winning team.

It is therefore up to him to force his way back into Howe’s side, and prove that Newcastle can continue to be successful with him in the team.