On the 19th May, just eight weeks ago, Allan Saint-Maximin sent a sobering message to NUFC fans as the 2020/21 season came to a close.
He said – “I don’t want to fight one more year against relegation or being safe. We have to buy more players like Joe Willock, he can be really great for the team and for myself. I am 24 years old, and have to think about the national team, about winning trophies, and hope the club can give me that.”
I have to assume that, given that he’s not desperately pushing for a move Moussa Sissoko style, Allan Saint-Maximin thinks a takeover is around the corner because he surely must be wondering if there is any point in staying at our stagnant club when he clearly could go on to bigger and better things.
Of course, without a takeover then Saint-Maximin will be strongly considering his options and I don’t think anyone could blame him if he were to leave to literally any club in the league.
He will be more than aware that we have currently signed no-one and that a £10 million budget is an absolute pittance for a Premier League club, not to mention the fact EPL rivals have been spending while we stand still.
Getting Joe Willock in on loan would be decent business, everything considered, but that’s not what Saint-Maximin is asking for in his quote. He says that we need to “buy more players like” not “Let’s get Willock in on loan again”.
Already we are seeing the drawbacks of an Ashley regime for this season and as soon as I saw quotes from Bruce, I was pulled straight back into the sad reality of being a Newcastle fan after the euphoria of the Euros. ASM has made it clear he’s not interested in another relegation scrap, yet that feels inevitable if it’s Ashley, Bruce and barely a penny spent on new signings heading into 2021/22.
The life of a footballer is a short one and a majority of them want to have a successful career that they can look back on with pride. As ASM said, players with his ability want to win things, be part of something special and compete for a space in the national team.
Being 24, Saint-Maximin will be acutely aware that he’s nearing the midway point of his professional career and, for someone as skilled as him, he’ll want success sooner rather than later.
The World Cup is a year away and Saint-Maximin needs to be a player in contention for the tournament. To be in contention, Saint-Maximin needs to be competing at the top which is something that he cannot do under Steve Bruce.
The likes of Norwich and Brentford are outbidding and outspending us for players and we expect our players to be happy with their lot? Crystal Palace spend double our budget on one player and we expect a happy, content and competitive squad?
I suggest bracing ourselves tightly because if this takeover doesn’t happen anytime soon, we’ll be hearing similar but stronger quotes from any of our players with ambition.