Over the last year and a bit, Newcastle United fans haven’t had the most to cheer about.
They managed to survive in the Premier League despite struggling for goals, with manager Steve Bruce opting for defence-first tactics. They had a big win over Manchester United during the campaign too and have started this season relatively well, securing 7 points from their first four games.
The good news continued this season too as it was revealed star-man Allan Saint-Maximin has put pen-to-paper on a brand new six-year deal, tying him to the club until 2026. Essentially the deal is just a one-year extension to his previous deal but on much improved terms to match his status in the squad.
His explosiveness, dribbling ability and unpredictability has seen him become a fan favourite at St James’ Park and he’s quite comfortably their best player. Not only have his performances matched it for the most part, but the player seems genuinely happy to be at the club too.
The new contract will obviously give Newcastle all sorts of leverage if any team decides they want to come in for the 23 year old winger, but the truth of the matter is there’s no rush right now.
Saint-Maximin is playing regular football, performing to a high standard and is a contributing factor in almost anything good coming out of the club right now.
Steve Bruce has made a considerable effort to ensure that Saint-Maximin doesn’t get burdened with being the only creative hub at the club this summer too. They signed Callum Wilson to play up front from Bournemouth while also signing Ryan Fraser, Jeff Hendrick and Jamal Lewis to strengthen the starting line-up.
The side have been a bit more daring this season too. Bruce has abandoned the five-at-the-back formation and opted for a more traditional 4-4-2, with Saint-Maximin given the freedom of the left-wing. Jamal Lewis operates behind him and is an upgrade on former midfielder Matt Ritchie in that position, helping in the attacks when necessary but more often than not just ensuring that defensively it isn’t a gaping weakness in the side.
The addition of Jeff Hendrick adds cover to the central midfield position while Callum Wilson’s addition to the attack means that Saint-Maximin’s hard work isn’t going without reward now since Joelinton’s role as the main goalscorer has been reduced.
Now that the club have got a star to build their club around once again, it’s time for results on the pitch to match so that Tyneside can have a giant of a football club for the first time in over a decade.