Allan Saint-Maximin has admitted he’d be further ahead in his career than he is now if he’d completed a move to the Premier League sooner than last summer.
This comes from the 23-year-old latest interview with French press, with him revealing how the ‘intensity’ and ‘box-to-box style’ of English football has forced him to do one thing in particular since he arrived at St James’ Park – work much harder!
Here’s what he’s told France Football, explaining how Premier League football has forced him to push himself physically:
“If I had gone to the Premier League before, I would perhaps be further ahead in my career than I am now.
“Because with the intensity of the matches, the rhythm that the fixture list demands, notably at the end of the year, the box-to-box style, all of that forces you to go deep into your potential.
“In Ligue 1, with the rhythm that is inferior, you do not have as many sprints at very high intensity to complete, so maybe you don’t push yourself as much as your engine could be pushed.
“This is no secret, in England, I have had to work harder.”
I remember quite a few Ligue 1 journalists warning us that Saint-Maximin still had a long way to go when he arrived on Tyneside last summer.
While I can appreciate parts of his final product need work, along with a few reoccurring fitness issues, he’s looking a real bargain at £16.5m and a player who has all the tools to become one of the league’s most dangerous wingers if he knuckles down – and it seems the intensity of English football is forcing him to do exactly that.
Hopefully we get to see his devastating dribbling and blistering pace soon if it’s safe to do so – even if it’s on our TV screens, not at St James’ Park!