New Everton manager Rafael Benitez is reportedly plotting a raid on former club Newcastle United for exciting winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
The Toffees were first linked with a move for the highly-rated winger throughout the summer, but according to The Independent (via Liverpool Echo), they remain keen on his services ahead of the January window.
Saint-Maximin has started the new season in fabulous form for the Magpies and is believed to have caught the eye of several potential suitors, with fellow Premier League sides Liverpool and Chelsea also credited with an interest.
The former Nice magician arrived on Tyneside back in August 2019 and quickly established himself as a firm fans favourite with the Newcastle fanbase.
In 64 appearances for Newcastle, Saint-Maximin has scored nine goals and provided a further 14 assists for his teammates, although it’s his overall game that really makes the electric forward stand out from the crowd.
After a crucial win over Southampton last season, Magpies manager Steve Bruce lauded his prized asset’s ability, saying: “I said when Saint-Maximin walked in, he will excite people. His natural ability is scary. He has a bit to learn too, and if he does, if he sorts the other bits out, we have a hell of a player on our hands.
“He is always a threat, wants to get past you, and that is a dying art. He has that natural ability in abundance.”
And the Frenchman appears to have taken his game up another level in the current campaign. In just seven top-flight appearances, the £27m-rated gem has bagged two goals and laid on three assists, despite Newcastle remaining winless in all competitions.
Therefore, the Everton supporters will surely be buzzing with excitement at the prospect of Saint-Maximin joining Benitez’s charges at Goodison Park over the winter window.
In previous years, the Blues have spent vast sums of money on new arrivals during Marcel Brands’ time as director of football, but it was a different story over the summer.
Several free agents arrived at the club, while the £1.8m fee paid for Demarai Gray was Everton’s only financial outlay. Now though, with James Rodriguez departing, the Merseyside outfit must move for Saint-Maximin, providing Benitez with the quality he needs to compete with the Premier League’s ‘Big Six’.