Allan Saint-Maximin’s cameo appearance for Newcastle against Arsenal on Sunday gave fans a glimpse of what to expect from their new winger in the season ahead.
He is everything fans love about a player.
He has a stand-out hairstyle, a flamboyant personality, and all the speed and trickery that will have fans and pundits drooling over his performances.
But with that flair, comes the odd mistake and misjudgment that accompany it.
Newcastle have had a few French wingers in recent times, and their is no doubt he has more of a Hatem Ben Arfa than a David Ginola about him.
With Ginola, you had a cultured winger, who glided past defenders and an ability to make the game look easy.
In Ben Arfa, you had a trickster, who often had fans pulling their hair out in frustration one minute, and then mesmerised at a ‘how did he do that?’ moment, the next.
Saint-Maximin will have fans doing the same, there is little doubt about that, but he will also have them eating out of the palm of his hand with his exciting displays.
Newcastle fans love a cult hero, and the Frenchman will prove to be just that.
Saint-Maximin has everything Newcastle fans love in a player
Both the frustrating and mesmeric sides of his play were epitomised in one run in the second half, when he burst down the wing, beating the Arsenal full-back, before inexplicably slipping off his feet on the wet turf, at the moment he was about to knock the ball into the box.
But fans already seem to love him. The ovation he received when he came on was the loudest cheer of the afternoon, and he seems desperate to repay them.
He has said time and again since he signed, how proud he is to be at Newcastle, and was photographed with a fan last week wearing his Toon top under his hoodie, and also pictured himself lying on his bed with his black and white shirt still on.
He is everything that fans love about a player, and it is as though the term ‘cult hero’ was written with him in mind.
He will be inspirational at times, and infuriating at others, but he will be box office all the time.
Newcastle fans have a new hero to hang their black and white caps on, and with him in the side, it will be a roller-coaster of a season for everyone.