Based on the interviews we’ve seen from our lovable Frenchman over the past fortnight, it’s becoming increasingly clear that Allan Saint-Maximin not going to stick around much longer if the club’s ambition doesn’t match his.
Not only did he tell talkSPORT last week that “you think about your future” if a club only fights to stay up each season, he responded to a ‘very concerned’ Newcastle fan soon after saying he had to be honest; all but confirming he is considering his future.
Since then he’s been speaking to Stadium Astro, and his message was crystal clear once again – he wants Mike Ashley to spend and the squad to improve so we are in a position to not only break the top 10 but compete for trophies.
That would be the next step for most clubs who’ve ended the season on a surprising high, yet many believe Ashley will see our 12th place finish as a sign he doesn’t have to spend any more this summer to keep us up – and if that means unsettling ASM, he’ll be quite happy to see a bidding war for without doubt our biggest asset!
Considering these new quotes have come on a week that has seen several reports suggest Bruce will be handed around £12m to spend plus player sales, it feels like the reality of life in limbo under Mike Ashley and the Newcastle United Saint-Maximin wants to see are a long way apart and further proof that this could be the beginning of a long goodbye from our explosive wing wizard unless we get good news on the takeover front very soon.
I say that because ASM has talked up the importance of showing ambition, improving the squad and signing players like Joe Willock over the comings months, yet it feels all those things are unlikely while we’re owned by an uninterested owner who just wants out – not to spend big on a permanent deal he may feel unable to sanction if those budget rumours are true.
Here’s a reminder of the 24-year-old’s latest quotes:
“Sometimes, you have to be honest and Newcastle don’t have to be in this position because I don’t want to fight every year to not get relegated,”
“For me, Newcastle have the opportunity and have everything to try to fight for the top 10 and try to win some trophies because that’s why we play football.
“We play football to win games and win trophies so that’s why a lot of the time I feel disappointed and that’s why I say sometimes you have to be honest.
“I don’t want to do another season where we fight relegation, so I hope the club and everyone tries to do their best to have a really good team for the start of next season and try to do everything to win trophies because it’s the most important thing.”
As much as he’s adored on Tyneside and thriving in his role as the club’s talisman, it feels like the penny has dropped with him based on these weekly pleas to the club. It’s almost like he’s saying “here’s your chance – show some ambition and I’ll stay, but keep settling for this and you can sell me”. I just don’t see a way he sticks around if we’ve not got ambitious new owners this time next year.
See below his chat with talkSPORT last week, followed by his telling and brutally honest response to a Newcastle fan fearing the worst:
Whether it’s down to our limited manager or our lack of appetite to spend while Ashley waits on the Saudis, it feels clear to me that only a takeover can keep ASM at the club beyond next season.
While we wait for a final decision on the £300m deal, let’s at least hope we make a big bid to bring Willock back to the club – a move that would at least make Saint-Maximin more likely to remain on Tyneside in the short-term.