Newcastle swoop for Saint-Maximin is a recipe for disaster

Newcastle have re-entered the race for Allan Saint-Maximin, according to reports in France.

What’s the story?

According to L’Equipe, via GFFN, the Magpies are chasing the OGC Nice winger after Les Aiglons dropped the asking price from €40m (£36m) to €25m (£22.5m).

The report says manager Patrick Vieira wants the 22 year-old out of the club due to his “lack of commitment, on-pitch selfishness and missing work-rate towards the end of the last campaign”.

Secondly, it adds that Nice hope to sign both Sofiane Boufal and Alexis Claude-Maurice this summer, so they need to sell Saint-Maximin to fund the moves.

Watford, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund have also shown interest.

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Missing: Skilful French forward

There’s no question Saint-Maximin is an exciting player – the young winger scored six times and added three assists in 34 Ligue 1 games last season, boasting a 7.21 average match rating, per Whoscored.

And with the speed and directness of Miguel Almiron on the left flank, Saint-Maximin’s average of 4.2 dribbles per game would certainly bring some excitement to Newcastle’s attack.

However, new manager Steve Bruce has coached a player like this before – an elite dribbler with sensational one-on-one ability, but with low end product and an attitude problem.

Of course, we’re talking about former Magpie Hatem Ben Arfa, of whom Bruce famously exclaimed during their time together at Hull: “I don’t know if Hatem is in Paris, that’s the truth.

“As for not playing for Hull City again, at the moment he is not in the squad.”

Ben Arfa had joined Bruce’s side on a season-long loan in the summer of 2014. Those comments came in December of that year, and the maverick Frenchman was sent back to Tyneside in January, before being released from St. James’ Park and joining Nice. He scored no goals and contributed one assist during his stay at the KCOM Stadium.

So, given that Bruce quite literally lost the last player of Saint-Maximin’s ilk to come under his tutelage, signing the youngster, whose behaviour both on and off the pitch has driven Vieira and Nice to drop their price by over a third, just seems like a recipe for disaster.

The Magpies should steer well clear of this one.

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