According to the Athletic, Allan Saint-Maximin had ‘rival interest’ from Arsenal, Everton and Watford prior to his arrival on Tyneside – and his mother has revealed why he chose Newcastle United over other Premier League cubs.
This comes from Chris Waugh’s brilliant new piece, which sees Nadege Saint-Maximin – the Frenchman’s mother – discuss his childhood, his early plans to become a professional footballer and his ‘love’ for Newcastle United.
Here’s a snippet from the article, with Nadege revealing how our eagerness to sign the winger and give him regular football made his mind up immediately – with him also attracted by his feeling that it was a ‘city that smells of football’ and a club where he could express himself and feel loved:
Although Newcastle’s head of recruitment Steve Nickson had tracked Saint-Maximin for more than a year, the eventual £18 million transfer from Nice was so swift — in spite of rival interest from Watford, Arsenal and Everton — that it was already completed before the forward had a chance to inform his parents.
“Allan told us he joined Newcastle because they were the first team who came for him,”
“He wanted to go somewhere he would play, not to sit on the bench. He also knew that French players like Yohan Cabaye, Laurent Robert, David Ginola and Yoan Gouffran had done well there [Newcastle].
“Allan is very happy and he loves the supporters. He is very settled already.
“Allan is an artist who wants to paint out on the pitch and he felt he could do that at Newcastle, a city that smells of football.”
He may only have 2 goals and 1 assist in his first half-a-season at Newcastle United, but his impact has been huge.
As we revealed in an article yesterday, we’ve taken 24 points from a possible 36 when he’s started– yet managed just 7 points from a possible 39 when he’s been absent from Steve Bruce’s XI.
His stunning solo goal at Oxford, speed, explosiveness and incredible dribbling ability show just why the likes of Arsenal, Everton and Watford showed ‘interest’, but our love for him and his love for us fans suggests he’s found the right home in St James’ Park.
Hopefully he can stay injury free, up his fitness levels and go from strength to strength after his late heroics on Tuesday night!
He’s a mercurial talent and a potential match winner, but above all else a brilliant character and passionate guy who seems so happy to be here.