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Allan Saint-Maximin: Newcastle United’s Diamond

Saint-Maximin has quickly become a fan favourite since his arrival in the summer.

Oxford United v Newcastle United - FA Cup Fourth Round: Replay Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images

Allan Saint-Maximin has been an instant hit on Tyneside, Newcastle United supporters love the type of play Saint-Maximin is. The Frenchman can express himself in a city that lives and breathes football.

Saint-Maximin is a constant threat to the opposition, never giving them a moments peace. The former Saint Etienne winger, grew up trying to replicate the skills of Robinho, a player who really inspired Saint-Maximin in his younger years. As a child, Saint-Maximin would play on the streets, it is where he started to shine as a football player.

Southampton FC v Newcastle United - Premier League Photo by Jon Bromley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

For many, the bright lights of professional football can change a person, Saint-Maximin always remembers where he came from. In fact, the Newcastle United winger still sends parcels to his first club, Ris-Orangis. For Saint-Maximin it always about football, it is what makes him happy, he belongs on the football pitch and is regularly the star of the show.

There have been a number of French players who have plied their trade at Newcastle, the likes of Yohan Cabaye, Laurent Robert, Hatem Ben Arfa and David Ginola have all been firm fan favourites. In the days and weeks leading up to Saint-Maximin’s arrival, there had been numerous reports of apparent attitude problems. Saint-Maximin has shown how humble and down to earth he is. The Frenchman constantly interacts with Newcastle supporters on social, as well as helping with the local foodbank.

Newcastle United v Aston Villa - Premier League Photo by Ian Horrocks/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Saint-Maximin is not only important for Newcastle on the pitch but also off it. He is the first player in a number of years that the younger generation of supporters can get excited about, a need and a want to have his name on the back of their shirts. Perhaps, not since Ben Arfa has there been such an exciting talent in the Newcastle ranks. There will always be comparisons between Ben Arfa and Saint-Maximin due to the similar style of play.

At just 23 years of age, Saint-Maximin still has room to improve, should he add more goals and assists to his name - The sky really would be the limit for the Frenchman. Saint-Maximin is incredibly happy at Newcastle and that is showing in his performances on the pitch. Saint-Maximin has registered 3 goals and 2 assists so far this season. Those stats may not be the most eye-catching, though, Saint-Maximin offers so much more than goals and assists. His ability to dribble past players with ease, his direct running causes all sorts of problems for the opposition while creating space for his teammates.

West Bromwich Albion v Newcastle United - FA Cup Fifth Round Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

Saint-Maximin is an innovator, constantly trying to make something happen on the pitch - A genuine threat to the opposition. Take Saint-Maximin out of the Newcastle side and they struggle going forward and struggle to get a grip of the game. The Frenchman gets bums of seats, he is the sparkling diamond in this Newcastle side. Saint-Maximin brings hope and excitement, two things that have been completely lost during the Ashley era.

It is frightening to think that Saint-Maximin’s prime years are still well in front of him. The £18M Newcastle paid for his services certainly seems like a bargain in the current market. The winger has everything, pace, power, strength and most of all, flair. Saint-Maximin will be the key man during the final throws of the season, when the curtain finally falls on this campaign, Saint-Maximin can look back and consider it a job well done in his debut Premier League season.