Eddie Howe ‘has no intention’ of losing Newcastle star player Allan Saint-Maximin
NEWCASTLE: Allan Saint-Maximin can achieve anything he wants in football, according to Eddie Howe – and the head coach believes he can do it all at Newcastle United.
The Frenchman’s time at United has been punctuated by constant links with other clubs, his rumored price and talk of a Newcastle exit.
However, since the takeover by the majority shareholder PIF, this discourse has diminished. The form of Saint-Maximin, on the other hand, was not.
The quick and skilful striker was at his best midweek when the Magpies beat Frank Lampard’s Everton at St. James’ Park. And Saint-Maximin hopes to do the same this Sunday when Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Aston Villa are in town.
Howe firmly believes the world is at Saint-Maximin’s feet, and while his ambitions may be high, so are Newcastle United’s.
On whether the club could keep the player, Howe said: “Absolutely. There is no intention on my part to lose Maxi. I haven’t seen any indication from the player that his head is anywhere other than Newcastle and making sure he commits to us in that position and lifts us up from the position we’re in.
“I see a player who likes to play in front of the fans, is idolized by them. It’s essential for him. What we have to do is find an advantage to improve his game. I hope he’s here to many, many years,” he added.
With the World Cup in Qatar looming at the end of the year, most players have their eyes on a potential international call-up. Players like Kieran Trippier will likely travel to the tournament with England, but so far there has been no call-up for Saint-Maximin.
However, Howe stressed that the situation could change. “He can do it 100%, no doubt. And he can achieve that here,” he said of France coach Didier Deschamps’ possible international call-up. “He already has everything you want in his locker.
“If you look at his performance the other day, his cross for Ryan Fraser’s goal was excellent because it looked like there was no space to get past him. His effort, his attitude and his effort were to first class – and if he can hit that consistently, what a player he could be.
“There’s no doubt that he has all the talent to do what he wants to do. But it’s seeing that on a consistent basis, that’s the challenge for all players of his type. ain’t easy,” Howe added.
Similar to the mercurial talents of Faustino Asprilla, David Ginola and Hatem Ben Arfa at Newcastle, managing these types of players takes a certain style – and Howe knows Saint-Maximin needs a different kind of treatment to others in order to get the best of arguably the best dribbler in the Premier League.
Howe said: “With Maxi he is very individual, very unique, as a person and as a player.
“We have built a good relationship in a short time and getting to know him more will be good for me. We are always looking to add layers to his game, looking to help him improve. We want to take his game to another level by working with him. It’s a never-ending process, as it is with all actors.
“I’m excited for him every time he steps onto the pitch. You never really know what he’s going to do, how he can win a game. It’s a game-win,” he said. added.