Allan Saint-Maximin has hit back at critics who claim he’s just a ‘gifted player’ who gets by and god-given talent – not a hard worker.
The flamboyant Frenchman has been accused of ‘showing off’ by some in the French media and simply getting by on his ‘natural ability’ – not striving to improve – however he’s insisted that people don’t always see the full picture when it comes to his work in the gym or eagerness to develop as a player.
In an interview with France Football this week, here’s what the explosive winger has had to say in response to those critics:
“People think I do nothing, that I live off my ‘natural’ ability.
“I’m not someone who likes to show what he does, that posts every time he goes to the gym, putting up pictures and video.
“Maybe it’s because I’m religious, and in my religion, it’s not necessarily good to always show what we do, in a sort of vanity. And you also need to reach an understanding of what work is.
“Take Messi, for example. OK, he has abnormal coordination skills, but when you see his ball control, so special, I’m sure it’s because he probably went everywhere with a ball.
“His control, his frequency of touch, his ankle flexibility all refined themselves during those moments.
“People will then say he didn’t need to work when I think everything that goes back to what you did as a kid counts as work”.
An interesting take from ASM, showing us the other side to the 23-year-old talent who’s kept us entertained both on and off the pitch since his £16.5m arrival from Nice last summer.
It’s easy for some to presume his skill, pace and ability to dazzle is just god-given, but these things don’t just come naturally, with his physique and frighteningly quick feet and immense dribbling ability clearly something he’s worked on consistently from a young age.
If there’s one player I’m missing watching and looking forward to seeing back in action once all this blows over, it’s him!