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Saint-Maximin can get Newcastle back on track tonight

Newcastle’s 1-0 defeat to Chelsea at the weekend was their first in the Premier League since the middle of December – when they lost three on the spin against difficult opposition in Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Their excellent run of form that has steered them away at least temporarily from relegation trouble is a testament to Eddie Howe’s revitalising impact he’s had on Tyneside – getting the best out of the players he already had at his disposal, as well as making some smart signings in January.

Even without Allan Saint-Maximin, who suffered a knock and then missed a further game through illness, Newcastle still managed to win seven points out of nine available during his absence – proving that they aren’t so reliant on him anymore.

Will Saint-Maximin run Everton ragged tonight?

Yes, they are out of sorts!

Yes, they are out of sorts!

No, Everton will bounce back!

No, Everton will bounce back!

With that being said, the Frenchman could catch Frank Lampard’s Everton side out tonight – as the Toffees will likely have done preparation on a number of other players who have stepped up in place of the 25-year-old – who now has a huge workload lifted off his back, and can play with a little less pressure on his shoulders.

Having made eight goal contributions in 25 Premier League appearances so far this season, Saint-Maximin only has two in his last ten, and fans would be forgiven if they were beginning to worry that he was burning out – but his time out of the team could be exactly what he needed to return to his best – and against an out-of-form Everton team, he has the perfect opportunity to do so.

After all, in the words of Kieran Trippier, he is a player who “will reach” the standard required to win the Ballon d’Or, something the right-back admits is one of the attacker’s main goals in life.

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Valued at £28.8m by Transfermarkt, the £93k-per-week winger has established himself as one of the most exciting talents in Europe since joining the North-East club.

He ranks in the top 2% among players in his position across Europe’s top five leagues and continental competitions for carries into the final third per 90 (3.01), top 6% for shot-creating actions per 90 (3.97), but most impressively, ranking as the number one winger for dribbles completed per 90 (4.79).

With his opponents today all out of sorts and completely disorganised, conceding 12 goals in their last six games in the league,  Saint-Maximin could just remind everyone why he is one of the most talked about Premier League talents, and why the likes of Gary Neville have labelled him “breathtaking“.

In other news: PIF can get St James’ bouncing as NUFC plot bid for “untouchable” £45m titan

Article title: Saint-Maximin can get Newcastle back on track tonight

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