Newcastle have been dealt a late injury setback to French attacker Allan Saint-Maximin ahead of their clash with Brighton this afternoon…
Magpies reporter Craig Hope has claimed that the forward had not returned to training prior to Friday’s session after taking time off due to his knock.
He tweeted on Friday: “Allan Saint-Maximin still hasn’t trained with NUFC following calf injury but could do today. A late call will be made on involvement ahead of Brighton tomorrow.”
Newcastle fans will surely be fuming with this update, as it suggests that the forward is likely to miss out on the match. It seems unlikely that the 24-year-old will be able to come straight back in after missing the last two games, with potentially only one day of training under his belt.
This comes as a big setback for the club and the player after a report earlier this week claimed that he was expected to be back for today. Instead, he is still a major doubt and the signs do not look good for him playing in the match at all, let alone starting.
Perhaps they felt he would be able to return to training on Wednesday or Thursday instead of leaving it until the day before the game to make his comeback. It could be a risk to play him against the Seagulls with such a quick turnaround between his return to training and kick-off, and Howe will want to guard against aggravating the knock and causing the player to be ruled out for a longer period of time.
Therefore, the most likely outcome – on the evidence available – is that the 24-year-old will at best be on the bench to be used as a last resort. He could get five or 10 minutes at the end of the game, but it does not seem logical to hand him a start given his circumstances.
Fans will be fuming with this urn of events, as Saint-Maximin has been sensational for Newcastle in the Premier League this season. He has averaged a SofaScore rating of 7.00 and produced five goals and three assists, whilst completing 4.6 dribbles per game in the top flight.
The winger is an exciting player to watch, with the ability to get supporters off their seats with his dribbling as he takes the ball past opposition players. This is why the Toon Army will be gutted that they may not be able to see him in action at St James’s Park today.