Didier Deschamps has named his France squad for the World Cup – and it does not include Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
Unsurprisingly, the Toon star has not been called up to his national team for the tournament in Qatar. That’s despite the fact that Maxi has been very vocal about his desire to go to the tournament and represent his country.
However, injury has hindered his chances of earning a callup. The 25-year-old has not played enough football this season, and made his first start since August last night in the Carabao Cup.
Whatever he did against Crystal Palace was too little too late, with Deschamps announcing his squad on Wednesday night.
Saint-Maximin’s dream has been put on hold, and hopefully this latest snub will inspire him to do even better.
World Cup snub can be catalyst for Saint-Maximin
ASM hasn’t been shy about saying he wants to play for France. It’s something he reportedly talks about behind the scenes at Newcastle.
In May, Saint-Maximin told Goal: “It’s hard not to think about it [the World Cup]. It remains an objective for any French person to represent his country, to compete in major competitions like this.”
While he won’t achieve his goal in Qatar, that does not mean the dream is over. The next tournament is in three and a half years, with the World Cup set to take place in America, Canada and Mexico.
Saint-Maximin should be arriving at his peak age then, and hopefully can take his game to the next level. And that is something he can do working under Eddie Howe.
The Newcastle boss has proven he can get more out of players and make them better, with the likes of Miguel Almiron and Joelinton thriving.
Saint-Maximin is the next player we need to see taken to new heights. If that happens, surely France won’t be able to ignore him.
It wasn’t a surprise to see him miss out this time. He hasn’t played enough in recent months, nor was he consistent enough before then.
But if he can maintain his fitness and start performing on a regular basis, international recognition has to come his way. He’s unplayable on his day, and will eventually get the chance to show that in a France shirt.