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Saint-Maximin departure a bittersweet note for Newcastle fans

Newcastle United fans are sad to see one of their more recent cult heroes – Allan Saint-Maximin – being sold, with a likely destination being Saudi Arabia.

Saint-Maximin has become somewhat of an icon to the Toon Army faithful since he joined the Magpies back on August 2, 2019 from French club, Nice. Since then, he has made 111 appearances for the club, scoring 11 goals.

But it wasn't the goals that helped him warm up to the Geordies, with his electric pace, and his dribbling skills making him more attractive on the eye than other players who have played at ST James Park over the years.

Time right to sell Saint-Maximin?

With Newcastle United adding Champions League football to their calendar this season, some fans feel it is the right time to sell the tricky, entertaining winger, feeling that they need to bring in a new era of players, meaning some of their favourites have to leave St James' Park.

But many will see Saint-Maximin as the shining light through some disappointing seasons in the Premier League when the only thing they had to look forward to was a relegation battle.

His direct style was refreshing for the fans, who love to adore an attacking player who excites, even if he didn't always produce an end product. Newcastle fans seem to be disappointed that he is leaving, however, it more to do with his eccentric character than maybe what he did on the pitch.

Most, who are happy to say thank you to a player that showed passion and desire in the black and white striped jersey, realise that he can be replaced with a better model, with Harvey Barnes of recently relegated Leicester City, looking to become a ready-made replacement for the Frenchman.

But Newcastle fans are some of the most passionate in the world, and when a player puts 100% into playing for the club, and does his best to create a connection with those fans, they appreciate them, even if they didn't bring them that holy grail of a major trophy, something the club and their fans have been crying out for.

Saint-Maximin
Photo by Icon Sport

Saint-Maximin nearly did it when he helped Newcastle get to the Carabao Cup final but lost out in the final to Manchester United, meaning he leaves the club with only a runners-up medal. However, he will bring away more than that from his stay in the Northeast.

With a likely move to Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal, Saint-Maximin will be forever remembered as a player the fans could get excited about during the grim days of Steve Bruce and Mike Ashley, when most had to drag themselves to St James Park to reluctantly watch their team try survive in a league that they felt they were good enough to compete in, for a higher placed position.

The phrase, ‘Bitter-Sweet' has been used by fans to describe the situation, with one Newcastle fan, @Paul_NUFC83, tweeting this.


Philip O'Rourke

Philip O Rourke is a Dublin-based journalist and author of Forgotten Football Clubs, 50 Clubs Around the World. He appears on the Forgotten Football Clubs podcast and, in his spare time, travels around Europe to different football stadiums, trying to watch as many different clubs as he can.

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