Newcastle United star Allan Saint-Maximin will face a late fitness test ahead of the Magpies’ clash with reigning champions Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
The 24-year-old was forced off late in their 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Thursday night and could be a potential absentee ahead of the visit from Pep Guardiola’s side on Sunday.
“With Maxi, he took a really nasty tackle,” said Newcastle manager Eddie Howe. “I don’t know whether his injury is related to that tackle, or is more muscular. I’ve no idea.
“Fingers crossed for him, he’s such a big player for us. We don’t want to lose him for any amount of time.”
Furthermore, Federico Fernandez and Paul Dummett still remain unavailable with their respective injuries.
The Frenchman is the latest name added to what appears to be a growing injury list for Howe. Jamal Lewis was also withdrawn against Liverpool and will be facing a spell on the sidelines with a hamstring injury.
The £27m-rated Saint-Maximin will be a major loss for the Magpies if he is ruled out for a significant spell, particularly if his injury makes him unavailable for a chunk of Newcastle’s hectic festive period.
Now in his third season with the club, the Frenchman is certainly a fan favourite amongst many Geordies, and a prolonged absence would leave supporters gutted if he is set to miss a sizeable portion of their upcoming schedule.
United will play four Premier League matches within the next 15 days as things stands and will need their main creative output available, with their top-flight status at risk given their precarious position in the league table.
Saint-Maximin has contributed three goals and three assists in the Premier League thus far this season, playing a part in 33% of Newcastle’s top-flight goals and level with six-goal Callum Wilson in terms of overall contributions.
According to SofaScore, the Frenchman also averages a 76% passing accuracy, as well as 63% dribble success and two shots per game; while WhoScored rank him as by far the Magpies’ highest-rated player so far this term.
Therefore, if the 24-year-old is sidelined for the whole festive period and beyond, his absence would be a huge blow for Newcastle and would leave fans feeling gutted.