Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has rallied off a list of traits that Newcastle United’s star forward Allan Saint-Maximin must improve.
The French winger has made ten Premier League appearances since his £20millon summer switch from Ligue 1 side OGC Nice, but is yet to score a goal in English football and has only registered one assist – coming in our 3-2 win at home to AFC Bournemouth last month.
Saint-Maximin had struggled with fitness issues as he adjusted to the English game, with hamstring problems preventing the 22-year-old from featuring against Norwich City, Watford and Liverpool, as well as leading to an early bath when we beat Tottenham Hotspur in August.
Steve Bruce is again waiting for updates on Saint-Maximin’s fitness from the club’s medical team ahead of facing Sheffield United on Thursday night, after he was forced to make a late change during Saturday’s draw with Manchester City.
When Saint-Maximin has featured, his ‘electrifying’ pace has impressed Robinson, but the ex-Blackburn Rovers ‘keeper is concerned over a few areas of our number 10’s game.
“He’d drive me mad if he was in my team,” Robinson told Football Insider. “I’d be on his case constantly because he’s so quick, he’s got such electrifying pace and he’s got such talent as well.
“But he just needs a little more composure with his decision-making, his final ball, as he has so much talent but his decision-making in the final third lets him down.
“And I do think he forgets his defensive duties sometimes when he’s playing on the left-side of that midfield, I think he has to be reminded of his role to trackback.”
Does Saint-Maximin need to offer more defensively?
Yes, it's a team game
No, he's a forward
Saint-Maximin has recorded 0.4 successful tackles from 0.8 attempts per 90 minutes in the Premier League this season, per WhoScored data, along with an average of 0.4 interceptions, 0.3 clearances, and 0.3 blocks.
Miguel Almiron on the other side of the field, meanwhile, has been averaging 1.6 successful tackles from 3.0 attempts per 90, plus 0.8 interceptions, 0.5 clearances, and 1.0 blocks.
Clearly, then, Saint-Maximin has room to improve when it comes to helping out in defence, but the priority for Bruce, right now, is getting the Frenchman – and Almiron – firing on all cylinders in attack.
In other Newcastle United news, a 5 ft 7 Toon man is keen to leave St. James’ Park.