Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce could sign a new Allan Saint-Maximin in Independiente starlet Alan Velasco.
According to Football Insider, the Mapgies are credited with interest in the 18-year-old, but it’s fellow Premier League side Brighton who are looking to steal a march in the race to sign him this summer.
The report claims that Graham Potter’s side are preparing a new offer for the versatile winger after having their £6m bid rejected.
After watching Saint-Maximin turn into a real fans’ favourite at St James’ Park thanks to his incredible skills and flashiness, the Magpies could find a younger version of the Frenchman in Velasco.
As per The Monaco Tribune, in the 2019/20 season, “his 5.90 dribbles per game, 3.71 fouls suffered pg, 3.2 touches inside the box pg, 2.7 progressive runs pg, 1.77 accurate crosses pg and 1.52 shot assists pg highlight his class”.
Those stats are very much reminiscent of Saint-Maximin, especially the dribbles and fouls drawn per game – the Frenchman has made a mockery of many a Premier League defender, and gets scythed down for his troubles when they get beaten or let their frustrations get the better of them (as per WhoScored, he averaged 3.8 dribbles and was fouled 1.8 times per match in the Premier League last season).
Former manager Fernando Beron’s praise of Velasco shows just how alike the two are on the pitch. He said: “He is bold. In one on one he dribbles without problems and that marks his personality. If he grows, I have no doubt that the club has a diamond in the rough. He is a humble, educated kid. I see him with his head screwed on. He doesn’t show arrogance at all and always wants to learn.”
Argentinian journalist, Seba Ongarelli, who follows Independiente, said: “He is highly-rated in Argentina. He is nicknamed ‘La Joya’, which is the jewel because of his potential. Independiente is one of the biggest clubs in Argentina and he is wearing the number 10 shirt. He is so fast and skilled with the ball. He has already proved that he is a good player.”
Velasco himself has said: “In recent times, I have been learning to pass the ball more and to assist. Now, I want to work to improve my dead-ball execution. I can play in all three attacking positions: left, right or off a central striker. I am a fast player, and I always look to win my battles.”
The £10.8m-rated gem seems like he has the world at his feet, just like Saint-Maximin appears to have the inner confidence to take people on at will and always looking to make things happen.
At just 18, he has all the time in the world to develop into a real superstar at St James’ Park if he comes to Tyneside.