According to The Mail’s Craig Hope, Steve Bruce was all set to DROP Allan Sant-Maximin at Selhurst Park tonight – but the winger has now picked up an injury and will miss out altogether.
His latest ‘exclusive’ claims that the Newcastle United boss has been ‘unhappy’ with his performances since he signed a new six-year deal at St James’ Park.
Hope states that Bruce was preparing to bench the 23-year-old ahead of tonight’s trip to Crystal Palace, but a muscle injury picked up in training on the eve of the game means he’ll miss out – along with THREE unnamed NUFC players who’ve either tested positive for COVID-19 or have been forced to self isolate.
Saint-Maximin’s form has certainly dipped since he put pen to paper, yet I’d also argue that he’s been played out of position and in a side that’s been VERY difficult to look good in since we reverted back to a five-man defence and played him in a No 10 role that doesn’t seem to suit him.
That said, it wasn’t long ago ASM said the ‘free role’ was his favourite position, yet he’s not been nearly as involved or explosive in games, seeming pretty subdued by the high standards he set last season.
He may have struggled of late, but there’s little doubt he’s our most exciting and capable outfield player, so we’ll have to hope this latest injury isn’t a bad one – especially not a reoccurrence of the hamstring issue that plagued him last season.