Former Sunderland and England forward Darren Bent has spoken of how damaging Allan Saint-Maximin’s injury could be to the club.
The French winger joined on a six-year deal in the summer and has been an important part to Toon’s great start to the season, chipping in with one goal so far while playing Sheffield United.
While the extent of the injury is still pretty unknown, it is looking rather bleak for Steve Bruce’s side as he was seen leaving St. James’ Park on crutches after the club’s 2-1 win over Southampton on the weekend.
There is no official deadline for his injury, but Bruce admitted that he could be out for “weeks”. The Newcastle boss also went onto say that he was “disappointed” with himself for making the 22-year-old play through some fatigue.
Speaking about the injury, Darren Bent says it could be a costly one for the Magpies.
He told Football Insider: “Yeah, humongous blow as he is key to what they do.
“Him and Almiron, more so him, the way Newcastle play allows him to do what he does which is get up the pitch in a hurry.
“He’s quick, he’s strong, he’s unpredictable so for me, it’s a big blow and Newcastle are going to struggle without him.
“But hopefully he can come back sooner rather than later.”
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It’s hard to argue with the former striker. The tricky winger has made a real impact at the club since joining, he has played in 12 games over 823 minutes and has had the third-highest average rating for the team, as per WhoScored, with a juicy 7.06/10.
In addition, his statistics suggest he has been one of the main attacking outlets for the club. He averages 1.6 shots per game, wins 1.4 fouls per game, and most notably makes a whopping 4.5 dribbles per match – nearly four times more than the next closest person in the squad (Joelinton and Almiron with 1.2). Only Wilfried Zaha averages more than that with 4.6, while Adama Traore has the same.
Those dribbles do not only create chances for other players as he bombs up the pitch, but it works as a huge release for the defenders, and also makes teams especially wary of him on the counter. Being without him is only going to make life a lot more easy for opposition defenders.