Overview of the most important events
Is Saint-Maximin leaving Newcastle?
Newcastle wasted no time in strengthening their squad ahead of an exciting season that saw them for the first time since 2002/03 season.
The former Foxes player scored a goal 13 goals in the Premier League last season and was one of the few shining lights in a dismal campaign at the King Power Stadium. His performances brought him not only a return to the top flight, but also a move to the Champions League team and last year’s Carabao Cup finalists.
But to make room for Barnes, someone has to leave. In this case, it’s Saint-Maximin, an exuberant crook whose four-year stint at Newcastle is coming to an end because of interest Saudi Arabia.
While Saint-Maximin often flattered cheating by offering style over substance, he has cemented himself as a firm fan favorite in St. James’ Park with his ability to confuse fans.
There will be no Frenchman’s tricks and moves at Tyneside, but there will be no shortage of Ambrose who played in Europe 15 Times for the Magpies believes Barnes is offering Eddie Howe a Saint-Maximin upgrade and is more suited to the manager’s style of play.
When asked about say SPORT whether Barnes was an improvement, he said: “I think as far as a manager at a football club is concerned, yes, I think it’s an Eddie Howe player, it’s an Eddie Howe player.
“He is good with the ball, has a fantastic work ethic, is young, hungry for success and wants to succeed. Of course, he also did very well last season. I believe 13 Premier League goals with Leicester relegated. It’s exciting for me and I think in terms of getting to Saint-Maximin, I think so.
Ambrose added: “I’ve contacted some people who are huge Newcastle fans and if you go on social media you’ll think Allan Saint-Maximin is a god at Newcastle but you can’t go on social media. He’s 26 now, I think four full seasons, and he hasn’t scored five league goals in a season, I think 12 Premier League goals in 84 Premier League appearances for Newcastle.
“For someone with that talent, the talent that he has, I don’t think that’s a good enough turnaround. I think when you’re back against the wall, I don’t think he’ll show up.”
Ambrose also suggests that the French winger may have an “attitude problem” and “gets fined a lot”, perhaps one of the reasons Howe is not too concerned about losing his talent.
Barnes certainly seems more suited to Howe’s system of greater tactical discipline and emphasis on work ethic than Saint-Maximin, while also boasting a better statistical record at the top of England.
While Saint-Maximin’s departure has yet to be finalized among Saudi intereststhere is a growing feeling that his departure is only a matter of time.
Who is better – Barnes or Saint-Maximin?
When comparing two in the Premier League last season, it’s obvious Barnes is in better shape.
Barnes outperformed expected goals by 4.1, showing off his clever finishing skills, boasting a higher shot-on-target percentage and total shots on target at 90. The 25-year-old poses a greater goal threat than Saint-Maximin, which may be one of the reasons Howe was so keen to bring the Englishman north.
However, when it comes to dribbling and progressive handling, Saint-Maximin is a clear winner. He boasted a 57.6% tackle percentage compared to Barnes’s 29.7%, as well as just seven fewer field carries despite having played nine fewer games than Barnes.
While both players offer different skill sets, Barnes seems better suited to implement Howe’s needs at Newcastle successfully.