Magpies boss Eddie Howe has revealed that the Frenchman could be in contention to feature in the match if came through training (on Friday) without any setbacks.
The head coach told the Chronicle: “Yeah there’s a chance. We will see how training goes today. He has made really good progress and I am really pleased with how he’s attacked his rehab and the work he’s put in. So there’s an opportunity to get Maxi fit and available.”
He added: “Maxi is in a really good place. I think the setback he had recently with his hamstring was a huge blow to him.
“But it almost reset him mentally. It was like (he thought): ‘Right I have really got to get myself right and get my recovery right’.
“So I think I have this time, a steely determination to get back fit and get back in the best condition possible. He’s been having really intense treatment, three sessions a day, two at the training ground and one at home.”
This could be a huge boost for Howe if Saint-Maximin is fit enough to face Aston Villa as he could make a big impact on the pitch, whether that is from the start or as a substitute.
The French forward is electric in the final third and could provide a spark out wide on the left, where Newcastle have struggled to hurt teams this season since the ex-Nice man’s injury.
Callum Wilson and Miguel Almiron have combined for 10 goals and one assist between them in the striker and right-wing positions in the Premier League, but Jacob Murphy and Ryan Fraser have only managed one goal and zero assists in a combined seven starts.
No one has been able to step up in Saint-Maximin’s absence to nail down the left-wing position and that is why his return would be a welcome one.
He has the quality to be a difference-maker on the ball and has proven himself in the Premier League. The gem produced five goals and five assists in the top-flight last term and has mustered up one goal and two assists in just four starts so far this season, whilst completing 3.2 dribbles or more per game in both campaigns.
Therefore, having him available will be a huge boost for Howe because of the level of quality he can provide on the pitch in comparison to the likes of Fraser and Murphy.