Newcastle United legend David Ginola has compared Allan Saint-Maximin’s impact at the club to that of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Paris Saint-Germain.
Saint-Maximin is a fan favorite amongst the Toon Army. But The Daily Mail reported over the weekend that the club are willing to listen to offers, with Aston Villa preparing a £ 50 million bid.
The Frenchman is the Magpies’ most exciting player, possessing blistering pace and skill. But his start on Sunday in the 5-1 defeat at Tottenham was the Frenchman’s first in seven games, having often been used as an impact sub in recent weeks.
The 25-year-old has only scored five goals and registered three assists in his 29 appearances this season across all competitions. However, Ginola believes that the club should keep hold of the left-winger, describing him as the ‘jewel in the crown’.
Speaking to Sky Sports, Ginola said:
“I’m not sure if Newcastle wants to sell him or he wants to go and find something new, maybe a new project,”
Ginola, who played for Newcastle and Villa between 1997-2002, continued:
“What is interesting is that Newcastle is a new project with the new investors. I think you need to keep on board your best assets. He’s definitely the jewel in the crown for these last two years. If you listen and talk to the fans, Allan Saint-Maximin is the one who gives a little bit of excitement – this is what they want and what they deserve. That’s always the case in Paris when it was Ibrahimovic, everyone was playing around him. When he left the club, the team was playing better football and it’s probably the same [at Newcastle]. “
Newcastle seeking potential Saint-Maximin replacement
The Magpies’ recent run of 19 points from a possible 21 was often without Saint-Maximin, who was absent due to a calf injury. The Mail reports that the club’s new owners are ready to cash in on the Frenchman as they plan a summer overhaul of the squad.
The club have identified Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson and Moussa Diaby of Bayer Leverkusen as replacement wingers, with both having exceptional seasons at their current clubs.
It is believed that Saint-Maximin wants an improved contract to reflect his importance at the club, having only agreed a six-year deal in 2020.
Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is also believed to be after several new players this summer. Saint-Maximin would not only be a statement signing for the Villans, but also be a vital addition on the left-wing. That would be especially the case if they can not convince Philippe Coutinho to join them on a permanent basis.