Football News

Newcastle’s Saint-Maximin “gets fined every day” and can ‘leap like Ronaldo’, but he will be “on it” this season says Wilson

By Ben Green

Published: 13:01, 3 August 2021

Jonjo Shelvey may have revealed his Newcastle teammate Allan Saint-Maximin “gets fined every day”, but Callum Wilson says he will be “on it” this season.

Saint-Maximin, 24, has proven a revelation since joining Newcastle from Nice in the summer of 2019, regularly captivating fans and transfixing terraces with his twinkle-toed feet and deceptive dribbling quality.

During his two seasons in the Premier League just three players have cleared the 200-mark for completed take-ons, with Saint-Maximin (217) joining the likes of Wilfried Zaha (218) and Adama Traore (336) in that department.

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His is a style at odds with the safety-first approach of Steve Bruce, with the Magpies finishing dead last season for the number of passes into the final third (1700) and touches in the opposition box (604).

The creative flair and unpredictability of Saint-Maximin’s playing style has been a breath of fresh air on Tyneside, a sentiment echoed by Shelvey, who has praised his teammate’s “raw skill” but also admitting his flamboyant style has come at a price — literally!

Shelvey told The Beautiful Game podcast: “He’s a lunatic. He’s class, man, some player. He’s some guy as well.

“He’s just one of them who’s so laid back. Head to toe in designer gear.

“He gets fined every day because he’s got earrings in and stuff like that but if he weren’t that good, you’d probably have the hump with him but when he’s that good, you don’t really want to have a go at him.

“He’s been outstanding. For me, as a midfield player, you try and get you’re head up and we’re a team that plays on the counter-attack so we just have to try and get the ball to him and let him try and dribble around 20 players.

“He’s so quick – you just don’t know what he’s going do with the ball – and he’s so raw with his skill.

“I remember the goal he scored against Sheffield United with his head – the leap. That was up there with [Cristiano] Ronaldo’s leaping and you don’t see him in the gym or anything like that.

“He’s just one of those footballers who’s got the electric pace and I can’t speak highly enough of him.”

Wilson recently added that Saint-Maximin “is going to be on it” this season, backing his club-mate to thrive at St. James’ Park and give the terraces something to cheer about, though he did add that he would not hesitate to let him know if his game tails off.

The England international said: “We’ll have a good season this year, definitely. I’m going to be on it, Allan is going to be on it — and I’ll be kicking him up the a*** to make sure he is!

“Jonjo is almost fit now, Ryan Fraser is fit and getting games in, we’ve got Fabby (Fabian Schar), who is great on the ball and who just needs some more game time.”

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