Ahead of the new 2023/24 Premier League season, Eddie Howe needs to decide on his first choice Newcastle XI, given that there have been movements in and out of the club during the summer transfer window.
The Magpies will be looking forward to a first Champions League campaign in two decades whilst also hoping to repeat their levels of performance from last season in the English top-flight.
Newcastle were one of the most diligent, hard-working and exciting teams to watch and if they can improve upon their results against the top teams in the division, there’s no reason why Howe can’t bring some long overdue success back to the club.
One player whose future has been very much up for discussion is Allan Saint-Maximin.
The exciting left winger has fallen down the pecking order at St. James’ Park as a result of injuries and the form of other players, leaving many to believe that his time at the club has come to a natural end.
On Saturday afternoon, the Magpies played a friendly against local side, Gateshead, a match that the 26-year-old Frenchman was involved in, scoring one and assisting another in a 3-2 win.
After the match, Howe was asked by reporters if he intended to keep the player.
“Definitely,” he was quoted as saying by Chronicle Live.
“I love Allan. I’ve said that many times. You see his quality today. When he went to his best position as a left winger, he was excellent. He took his goal really well. He’s come back in a good place mentally. I’m very pleased with him.”
If Saint-Maximin wants more match time than he managed over the past 12 months, not only is he going to have to keep fit, but he’ll need to significantly up his performance levels throughout the upcoming campaign.