Both the players got injured in the match against Wolves. Almirón sustained a knee injury and had to be replaced at half time break, while Saint-Maximin suffered a groin injury in the 63rd minute. Saint-Maximin's injury came as a big surprise, as it initially seemed a minor one but losing our talisman would be a massive blow for the Toon.
Here's the official update provided on the Newcastle United website:-
“NUFC will be without Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almirón until April after both players picked up injuries against Wolves on Saturday. Emil Krafth is set to resume training later this week.”
This update means Allan and Miguel will miss at least these next three matches against West Brom (A), Aston Villa, Brighton (A). Things are moving from bad to the worse state for Steve Bruce as we will be without our three best attacking players, including Callum Wilson, for these three crucial fixtures, which you can certainly define as six-pointers.
Losing Miggy would be an immense blow relatively bigger than the loss of Saint-Maximin because of the energy he brings to the game. He sets the tone of the pressing and aggressive proactive approach which has been adopted off late. He is 2nd most for successful pressures only behind Issac Hayden. He puts up 2.4 tackles and interceptions a game that shows his defensive contributions. Most importantly off late he's been productive in front of the goal in a much freer ten role.
After this set of fixtures, we have to face the tougher ones starting with Spurs, Burnley, West Ham, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester and Man City. If you remove Burnley from there the teams left are in the top 8 are in good form, collecting points from there would be a tough ask even with your better players. So, it's a kind of killer blow at this point. Also, there's no time scale mentioned on how much deep in April these players will become available.
The mood is a sense of frustration and toxicity among Newcastle fans, who believe they are destined to suffer and have to take it cold-heartedly, that their beloved club is in a precarious position to get relegated, Fulham is turning out to be a different proposition to one at the start of the season. The claim from Bruce is Fulham are not winning games and I disagree with this, they've been resolute and solid off late and most importantly are not losing matches, they look decent playing against the big team's so the claim that they have a tough run of fixtures is void. They surely will pick up draws here and there in this tough run and the mentality thing is favouring them.
The only positive news is Javier Manquillo is fit to play at the weekend, which is good news because we looked light on Right-back as Krafth lacks any kind of recovery pace. Manquillo would be a welcome addition given he provides us solidity at the back and make more progressive runs forward than Krafth.
So, Newcastle has lost their front three of Wilson, Saint-Maximin and Almiron for an extended period. This means an opportunity for fringe and young players to get an extended run in the team.
One player that needs to be played is Ryan Fraser, we have only seen glimpses of his quality and talent, The winger has that turn of pace which provides him with an extra yard to deliver quality balls into the box. The other player on the right-wing could be Jacob Murphy who showed glimpses of improvement at Wolves set up Joelinton for an absolute sitter after a good dribble (which he missed). He has a bit of quickness and pace about him which Joe lacks.
The centre-forward position is a bit uncertain. Our current roster of forwards cannot do the job as good as Wilson in a diamond and it didn't suit Gayle to drift towards the wing away from the goal. We need to go with traditional centre-forward with quality balls expected from both wings we need someone who can bully the defender and get the heck out of them, Carroll is much suited to this role. Gayle is a fox in the box type of player and lacks that aerial dominance, still a very good option from the bench.
Impact of this news on the takeover talks
It seems this news certainly has not gone unnoticed by the upper hierarchy, Ashley has realised he created a mess again and reports suggest that the club is no longer for sale until their top-flight status is clear.
Here's what the daily telegraph journalist Luke Edwards tweeted:-
“I’m told this morning all #nufc takeover conversations have been halted by Justin Barnes and the club is, effectively, no longer for sale. Everything paused until relegation matters decided.”
Reports are also emerging from Italy that the Public Investment Fund (PIF) may turn their attentions elsewhere to Seria A where clubs such as AS Roma and Inter Milan are turning out to be attractive propositions being in financial troubles. It was earlier reported that PIF has given the word to the consortium that they will return with a fresh bid as soon as the arbitration process pans out in their favour.
But According to La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammad bin Salman is interested in Inter Milan and would be open to acquiring a minority stake in the club through the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund. Inter Milan are believed to be up for sale due to financial stress on the owners Suning, who is said to be gazing for suitable backers to invest in the club. This destroys any sort of hope left among the Magpies faithful on the possibility of a takeover.