This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Newcastle’s Allan Saint-Maximin has enjoyed an impressive start to his Magpies career, and his form has led to high praise from Paul Robinson.
The winger arrived at the club over the summer for a price of £16.5m, a fee which could have quite easily put pressure on him to perform, but so far he has showed no signs of that.
His confident style is clear to see in the way he plays, frequently taking on opposition players through a combination of pace and trickery, which has resulted in 3.6 successful dribbles per game.
Saint-Maximin also shows determination in the forward areas by getting onto the end of chances, and despite his frequent misses Robinson thinks that his overall contribution is valuable to his side.
Speaking to Football.Insider, the former England player said: “I thought he was outstanding against West Ham and he was very good this week, the problem Newcastle have had is that Joelinton has been detached from the players behind him, such as Almiron and Saint-Maximin.
“Saint-Maximin has been Newcastle’s best player all season for me and he was again at the weekend as I thought he was key to what they did.”
The Frenchman’s importance to Steve Bruce is becoming more apparent with each passing game, but there are still significant flaws in his game which are currently holding him back.
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The 22-year-old has failed to produce a goal or an assist since arriving in the north-east, though his defelcted cross did result in DeAndre Yedlin’s equaliser last Saturday.
There has been ample opportunity to get on the scoresheet, though, and striking the bar against Bournemouth when there was the perfect scoring opportunity underlines the improvement that needs to be made.
However, it is still early days. He is young and adjusting to not just a new league, but a new country and different style of play.
To have impressed Robinson so much already says a lot about the performances he has displayed, and if he continues as he has started it will surely only be a matter of time before he breaks his goal duck.
Steve Bruce could be key to that. He is already getting a lot out of the player and as long as he maintains his confidence Saint-Maximin should continue to perform, and continue to get into those goalscoring positions.