Ex-Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Petit wants his former club to target Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
The pacey Frenchman has been on the periphery of the Magpies’ first team since the World Cup but Petit believes he has the potential to be an outstanding player for Mikel Arteta’s side:
“If Saint-Maximin can improve his decision-making and do the right things at the right moments, just like Martinelli, I can imagine him being a revelation at Arsenal. He has so much pace and makes the difference with the ball at his feet. One against one, he is fearless when he faces defenders.”
“How will he respond to being on the bench at Newcastle? I’m pretty sure at the end of the season if his situation is the same, there will be some big talks between him and Newcastle. Maybe there is an opportunity for Arsenal if he is unhappy or unsettled. He is not the first name on the team sheet anymore and he was the star at the club before everything changed. Now he is on the bench. Football moves fast.”
Saint-Maximin’s main issue has been injuries and fitness problems. The 25-year-old has already missed nine matches since the start of this season due to hamstring/muscular issues and illness.
His inability to stay fit makes him a hard player to rely upon, and the fact that he is very much an individual (who does his own thing), means that he may not fit into Arteta’s team ethos.
There is no doubting Saint-Maxmin’s quality, though, and if Newcastle are prepared to let him go for a reasonable price, he could well be a useful squad player for the Gunners, with the ability to make an impact from the bench.