One of the big positives for Newcastle during their tremendous 1-0 win over Manchester United, was the scintillating performance of summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin.

After his injury issues, and a couple of tantalising cameo appearances, fans finally got to see what the £16 million man can do, before fatigue saw him replaced after 83 minutes.

(Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

His electric pace, and direct approach – along with some wizardry and trickery thrown in – were refreshing, especially given the dour fayre that has been served up in previous games.

His display must now see him as one of the first names on the team-sheet for Steve Bruce, with him giving the side a touch of the unpredictable about it.

(Photo by Mark Fletcher/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Right from the first whistle he looked hungry to be on the ball, and when he was, his first thought was getting up the pitch with it.

Allan Saint-Maximin will make mistakes but will excite Newcastle fans

He will frustrate fans at times, but I think for all the times he will hold onto the ball a few seconds too long, or select the wrong option with his pass, the good things will forgive those little errors.


His brilliant through-ball for Jetro Willems in the build-up to the goal was a case-in-point. He could have held onto it, and tried to do it all himself, but he saw the pass was on, and played the Dutchman in superbly.

(Photo by Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

He does remind me a lot of Hatem Ben Arfa, who was another French star who got fans out of their seats whenever he was on the ball.

If he consistently performs like he did against Manchester United, I think when Matt Ritchie is fit again, it will signal a period on the bench for fellow Toon man Miguel Almiron.

Without doubt Ritchie will be accommodated in the starting XI, and switching Saint-Maximin to a more central role in support of Joelinton – who desperately needs someone alongside him – will be the obvious move.

But one thing is certain: if Newcastle are to put a run of results and performances together, Saint-Maximin must stay in the first team for the foreseeable future.

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