This has to be one of the biggest fears we all have as Toon fans. Not just Saint-Maximin but Miggy as well. In truth there’s probably a few looking at Dubravka too.
That said, there’s no doubting that Allan Saint-Maximin will be a man in demand this summer – especially if he keeps up the stunning form that’s seen him be nominated for Premier League player of the month following some stunning displays since football returned.
This brings me on to Steve Bruce’s comments yesterday. He began by stating there’s ‘no chance’ he’ll leave – but what he said from that point onwards was pretty damning if Mike Ashley is still owner of Newcastle United this summer, with him essentially saying ‘every player has their price and we’ll have to cash in if big money arrives’.
Read what he had to say about Saint-Maximin’s future for yourselves below:
“No chance. No chance. Look, for Allan and Almiron, the speculation about their futures and this, that and the other, they’ve only been here a short amount of time,”
“I’m not going to be naive enough to not think every player in the world has got their own price. I’m sure if you asked Leicester did they ever want to sell Harry Maguire, they probably didn’t but you have to get to a certain level.
“They’ve signed long-term contracts. I think we would all be naive to think a player hasn’t got his price and that goes for any club wherever you’re at,” he said.
“One thing we don’t want to do is to sell our best young players, that’s for sure, and we’ll do our utmost to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“But I’m not going to sit here and say to you that we’re that naive to think…but the good thing for me is to get linked, they’re performing on the pitch and they’ve got to keep sustaining it and sustaining it and we’ll see what develops after that.”
“I wouldn’t put a price on him. When you’re looking at the levels of money we bought him for, he is arguably the best pound for pound signing in the Premier League,”
“Tell me another one better than that, especially with the money spent pre-lockdown. I’m not so sure there will be the huge amounts spent after lockdown but I think certainly pound for pound, the way he’s producing and what he is, I think we’ve probably got the buy of the season.”
It’s definitely a little bit contradictory and worrying. He starts by saying there’s no chance as ASM’s only been in Newcastle for a short-time and then, in the next breath, states that every player has their price, naming Harry Maguire’s transfer to Manchester United as an example.
He alludes to their long-term contracts but then qualifies that by saying it doesn’t matter what club a player is at, they have their price. Hardly inspiring stuff, being quotes that make a takeover seem all the more essential, with me fearing for our future under the current regime if this Saudi deal fails.
When are the “powers-that-be” going to learn that you don’t HAVE to sell if you’re ambitious and keen to build / keep your best players? Probably never as there’s no doubting that Ashley merely sees our club as a business.
As long as he sees a profit and a substantial one, he’ll take it especially if he doesn’t get the takeover money. He’ll feel cheated to have a business he no longer wants.
So, for me, that’s perhaps the biggest reason for wanting the takeover. Not because if it doesn’t happen what we might not gain, but because of what we might lose if Ashley decides he’s been short-changed.
He’ll probably turn back to his scouting/recruiting regime to bring in more players at lower prices so he can sell them on for more, hoping to stay in the Premier League as a bonus (although he doesn’t seem to really care about that too much based on the moves he made, or didn’t make, last summer).
Where Ashley is concerned, we can only speculate as he doesn’t come out and express his feelings and thoughts very often and TBH when he does the reality never seems to match what comes out of his mouth.
But that’s Ashley. Mr Bruce of course does talk and make comments and we need to look at his as the man that will stay undoubtedly if the takeover doesn’t occur and might even stay if it does. After all he’s performing a pretty decent audition, City apart, at the moment!
Saint-Maximin has been an incredible buy at £16.5m. I can’t disagree with Mr Bruce that pound for pound there hasn’t been any if any better. He’s turning out to be an absolute bargain and the most vital component of our side going forward.
There’s no doubting that the better our star men perform the more they are in the limelight and the more they will attract suitors. That is a definite rule of professional football. We don’t want them to play badly, but ASM’s been so good lately that we could almost do with him to tone it down a little bit to deter the mass number of clubs who must be preparing summer bids!!
There’s no doubt in my mind that if a new ownership came in, they’d probably double his wages (and more if he’s on £36k!?) and ensure they build a team around him. But, if they don’t come in then I also have little doubt that if an offer double what we paid form him (£35m-£40m?) came in then the situation would be drastically different.
Ashley would jump at that. A 100% profit and that’s the worry, because even in post-lockdown world where the prices look set to be down, £35-£40m would still be a bargain for a player like Saint-Maximin and money I think the current owner would not hesitate to stick in his back pocket.
I hope I’m wrong, but for me Steve Bruce’s comments on ASM’s future make a takeover all the more essential!