Newcastle: Eddie Howe bemoans Alain Saint-Maximin’s injury

‘For me, if he’s never available, it’s a disaster’: Eddie Howe bemoans Alain Saint-Maximin’s injury – as the Newcastle boss insists he’s still a ‘top player’ for the club and wouldn’t be an impressive substitute. when appropriate

  • Alain Saint-Maximin has not started for Newcastle since August
  • Although fit since October, he only had two players off the bench
  • The Magpies have won their last five Premier League matches without starting

Eddie Howe says Alain Saint-Maximin’s absence at Newcastle remains a “disaster” and insists he is now not limited to an impact substitute role.

The Magpies have won their last five Premier League matches without the winger in the side and has not started since he injured a hamstring at Wolves in August.

It used to be the case under Steve Bruce that Newcastle couldn’t do without the Frenchman, but despite being fit since October, they’ve only had two players off the bench.

Eddie Howe (R) says it remains a ‘disaster’ when Allan Saint-Maximin is missing for Newcastle

Still, Howe says Saint-Maximin remains an integral part of his plans. When told, not long ago, it was a disaster when the 25-year-old was out, the manager said: ‘For me, if he’s ever unavailable, it’s a disaster, because he’s unique and he has those skills that no one wants. Defender to play against.

Maxi is a huge player for us. You saw as soon as he entered the field against Bournemouth (in the Carabao Cup win on Tuesday), he had this ability to put his opponents behind. For me, he is the best dribbler in the Premier League and you need that in your team.

Now, we’re just building him up to his best physique. Being the player, he must be able to run frequently at high levels.

He’s going in the right direction and he’s a key player for us. He’s a real character and we love him for that. He has a really nice personality, and it’s really nice to work with him.”

Howe added: “Now, the team did really well in his absence, which was a great thing. Ideally, you don’t want to depend on any one player – if you are, you’re putting yourself in a very difficult position. Our aim is to try to build a team that’s as strong as Enough and strong enough so that we can handle any absence.

Howe says Saint-Maximin remains an integral part of his plans moving forward at Newcastle

Howe dismisses the idea of ​​the 25-year-old doing better off the bench, but accepts that the impact substitute role will become more prevalent given the emergence of five changes.

“Players don’t necessarily see this role as something they want to do on a regular basis,” said Howe, whose third-placed side travel to Leicester today. This is the mentality of the players.

Every player wants to start and play 90 minutes. But you’re looking for players who can influence when changes are made. It has become a team game.

“I think specialists in some action, whether it’s off the bench or starting an hour game, is going to become more important.” Could that be Saint-Maximin? “I certainly wouldn’t have that conversation with Alan,” Howe said. He’s not in that role at all – he’s a key player from the start, when he’s 100 percent fit.

But yeah, with other players, if you get someone in that position, you need to be open and honest and discuss their role. If you have the right personality, this can work.

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