Eddie Howe provided a concerning update on Allan Saint-Maximin after yesterday’s draw against Bournemouth. The winger, who was a late fitness call against Crystal Palace two weeks ago, has suffered a setback. His availability for Fulham after the break is uncertain.
Newcastle have felt the loss of the dynamic Frenchman, who along with the absence of Callum Wilson, has cost Howe his two most lethal threats up front. Thankfully, Wilson should be raring to go at Craven Cottage to kick off October.
Speaking after the draw against his former club, Howe admitted finding ways to compensate for Allan’s loss has proven difficult. It’s a terrain the head coach is determined to be able to navigate moving forward.
Here is what Howe said as published in The Northern Echo:
“You’re never going to replace Allan when he’s not there, so you have to find a different way of playing. We’ve got players with different skills and different strengths in those positions.
“I still believe we can win without Allan, and be a very effective team without him. It’s just very different. You saw his performance against Manchester City – there’s no one like him in the Premier League.
“He’s a very unique player, and he brings those gifts to the team that on a day like today, you’re absolutely crying out for. We have to be better when he’s not there though.”
Saint-Maximin is a unique player whose qualities cannot be duplicated by many. When he’s unavailable, Newcastle have historically struggled to win matches, under both Howe and former head coach Steve Bruce.
Yesterday, Newcastle were dealt the double blow of Elliot Anderson being unavailable with a minor niggle. The teenager had placed himself in contention for a start on the left after impactful cameos.
Saint-Maximin’s explosive ability means he’s going to suffer the odd muscle injury over a strenuous campaign. In the coming transfer windows, adding another player rivaling his qualities (Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, Shakhtar’s Mykhaylo Mudryk) is likely to become a top priority.