Sky Sports reported last week that Allan Saint-Maximin’s new hamstring injury would sideline him for ‘4 weeks’, however the latest update on the Frenchman’s fitness paints a much bleaker picture.
According to The Athletic’s Chris Waugh, he will not only miss all of our festive fixtures, but is already deemed a “serious doubt” for our home game with Chelsea on January 18th.
This suggests his earliest return date could be our trip to Everton on January 21st, meaning he looks likely to miss at least NINE games following his injury in the latter stages of our 2-1 win over Southampton earlier this month.
Worryingly for Steve Bruce, we’re yet to win a SINGLE game this season when he’s not started. In contrast, our win percentage with the Frenchman in the team is 60%.
As Waugh’s piece also illustrates, our chances per game and goals per game increase when ASM plays. We win more when he plays. We lose less when he plays and we concede fewer too.
His unpredictability, pace, flair and ability to create something out of nothing puts opposition teams on the back foot and gives us a deadly weapon on the counter, but it looks like Bruce will have to do without him for at least another 5 weeks.
History suggests we don’t cope well without him, so it’s crucial that Bruce creates a successful plan B and that his replacement performs well in his absence.