Allan Saint-Maximin has left Newcastle and joined Saudi Arabian Pro League club Al Ahli for an estimated transfer fee of approximately PS30million. Eddie Howe confirmed he would leave last week during their 2-1 friendly win against Rangers; Allan Saint-Maximin wasn’t in their squad at that game either.
After four years at St James’ Park and 13 goals scored in 124 appearances, he has moved to Al Ahli with former Premier League stars Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez and Edouard Mendy – with whom he will join forces at Al Ahli.
Saint-Maximin scored 13 times for Newcastle during 124 appearances and quickly became a fan favorite due to his skillful dribbling and explosive pace, becoming known for both.
Saint-Maximin had already spent PS250m since their Saudi takeover and it had been speculated that he may leave St James’ Park to help balance its books. Manager Eddie Howe had also acknowledged the club is operating with limited budgetary flexibility and may need to sell first team players in order to comply with Financial Fair Play regulations.
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Saint-Maximin seems determined to prove he’s not ready to walk away, playing for 90 minutes during Wednesday’s League Cup win against Crystal Palace and could return against Aston Villa on Sunday as he continues his recovery from his hamstring injury. Saint-Maximin has returned to training, though its severity will ultimately determine if or when he makes the starting XI.
Allan Saint-Maximin impressed upon joining Newcastle from Nice in 2019, but struggled to become an influential goalscorer. Due to Financial Fair Play regulations, speculation swirled that Allan Saint-Maximin may be sold. Manager Eddie Howe admitted the club were working with limited budget.
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The Magpies have spent over PS250m since their Saudi-backed takeover in November 2021 and will need to balance their books carefully in order to avoid incurring transfer embargoes. Howe left Saint-Maximin out of last week’s 2-1 friendly win against Rangers as early discussions had taken place with Al Ahli regarding potential deals between himself and Saint-Maximin.
Saint-Maximin has contributed one goal, five assists and 28 chances to his team over 38 match days this season, placing him 48th in the Premier League rankings. Additionally, he won five aerial duels and made 8 tackles – impressive numbers in any sport!
Allan Saint-Maximin’s breathtaking skillful dribbling has won him fans since arriving at Newcastle in 2019. However, his ability must become more of a team player if he is to keep winning over fans’ hearts. At times he veers too far forward without tracking back effectively enough – something previously excused by former manager Steve Bruce because the club needed balance between attacking threat and defensive stability.
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Under Howe’s guidance, however, he has begun passing to teammates more and playing simple football rather than going on mazy runs to show off his natural flair. Furthermore, his defensive efforts are improving rapidly which is encouraging.
Howe has placed his faith in Saint-Maximin and Harvey Barnes to form an effective partnership in central defence, using each player’s individual skillsets to block overlaps by opposing defenders while making space unavailable to opposition midfielders.
Saint-Maximin made an outstanding two-year debut for Newcastle before leaving for Al Ahli of Saudi Arabia due to Financial Fair Play regulations requiring the club to sell players. His move is believed to be related to this being forced on him due to compliance.
French winger Yoann Arquin played an integral part in Newcastle United’s success in the Premier League, contributing 13 goals and 21 assists across 124 appearances. Unfortunately, due to injury concerns and Leicester City winger Harvey Barnes joining Eddie Howe’s side he has fallen further down Eddie Howe’s pecking order.
The transfer fee has yet to be revealed, though estimates place it somewhere around PS30 million. Given that both clubs fall under majority ownership by Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, raising concerns over transparency. Al Ahli already boast an impressive squad, boasting Edouard Mendy, Roberto Firmino, and Riyad Mahrez who came from rival Premier League clubs – among many others.