Newcastle United have been hit with a frustrating injury setback over winger Allan Saint-Maximin…
The Frenchman failed to make the squad for the 1-1 draw with Bournemouth at St. James’ Park on Saturday and the head coach explained his absence after the match.
Craig Hope Tweeted: “Allan Saint-Maximin has had minor setback in recovery from hamstring injury. Eddie Howe says it’s “unclear” if he’ll be back post int break. Callum Wilson was “close” for today but Howe made early decision not to take risk. Elliot Anderson a ‘minor niggle’
The Magpies boss should be gutted by this as it is a big blow to the team heading into the games on the other side of the international break.
Newcastle are currently on a run of six games without a win in the Premier League and Saint-Maximin has been absent for the last three of those games. They have also scored just twice in the matches that he has been unavailable for, after finding the back of the net six times in the first four outings of the campaign.
This shows that the Toon have struggled to be effective in the final third without the former Ligue 1 man in the side, which highlights his importance to the team.
After the draw with Bournemouth, Howe explained why the winger was missed as he said: “There’s a massive hole for someone like Maxi in a game like this when you need a little magic to unlock the door.”
The club’s other options out wide do not have the quality to break down opposition defences in tight matches. Miguel Almiron and Ryan Fraser have played 12 games between them in the top-flight this season and have one goal and zero assists combined so far.
Their lack of end product at the top end of the pitch should come as no surprise to anyone, though, as they both struggled in the 2021/22 campaign. They featured in 57 Premier League matches between them and were directly involved in six goals combined, which illustrates how little they offer on the pitch.
Saint-Maximin, meanwhile, scored five goals and provided five assists in 35 outings and has one goal and two assists in five appearances so far this term. He has the magic dust in the final third that Almiron and Fraser, quite simply, do not have and that is why this setback is a big blow for Howe and the manager should be gutted by the situation as it stands.