Sky Sports pundit and former Premier League striker Clinton Morrison believes Allan Saint-Maximin ‘will be a superstar’ in a ‘couple of years’.
The 23-year-old fired us into the last 16 of the FA Cup in some style on Tuesday night, skinning two defenders before smashing into the top corner to break Oxford hearts – a moment that’s excited more than just Newcastle fans based on Morrison’s latest comments.
Here’s what he’s had to say when speaking on BBC Radio 5Live this week, believing the explosive Frenchman will be a Premier League ‘superstar’ before long:
“You have to give huge credit to Saint-Maximin,”
“I called it in commentary that he looked like the difference maker.
“In extra-time he looked the most lively. Oxford were getting tired and their full-backs were pushing on leaving their defenders two on two with Saint-Maximin and Atsu.
“You can’t do that with a player of his ability. He is still raw, he is still off the cuff, but the goal he scored – that is what he is capable of.
“In another couple of years in the Premier League he will be a superstar. He has all the natural ability.
“That is a superb goal to win an FA Cup tie.”
It really was a magical moment, with it not only sending us into relatively unknown FA Cup territory (this is the first time we’ve made the 5th round since 2006!), but being one hell of a goal.
That said, while his pace, skill and ability to beat a man is almost unrivalled, he does have several areas of his game to work on.
Fitness is one, with him needing to improve his conditioning so he can last the full 90 without us fearing another bad muscle injury, while his final ball and decision making also needs work.
The fact he can beat two or three men and then smash a ball into the top corner is something we’ve been missing since the days of Hatem Ben Arfa, but there are times he needs to get his head up, release the ball sooner or be a little more composed when it comes to his final product.
Add that to his game and he’ll be unstoppable – and a player we’ll struggle to keep a hold of in years to come!
For now though, what a joy it is watching such an expressive and explosive talent.
Without his influence, unpredictability and entertainment factor, I’m not sure where we’d be this season!