Newcastle United boss Steve Bruce doesn’t even want to think about the possibility of losing star man Allan Saint-Maximin as he aims for a late first win of the new Premier League season.
The 24-year-old Frenchman put in a stunning individual performance in Friday night’s 1-1 draw against Leeds at St James’ Park, snatching a point with a brilliant equalizer and nearly winning the game late in the game.
Saint-Maximin, a £ 16million signing from Nice in the summer of 2019, is quickly making a name for himself after overcoming a string of injuries and health issues, and it won’t go unnoticed by potential suitors.
However, head coach Bruce insists he hasn’t asked for assurances on the future of a man who signed a new six-year contract barely a year after his arrival.
He said: “I haven’t even had this conversation – and I don’t want to have this conversation, as you can imagine. Look, we don’t want to lose our best players at all.
“Right now I’m not going to have this conversation with anyone because we want to keep our best players.”
Saint-Maximin has been the Magpies’ flagship player so far this season, reveling in the responsibility of filling a central striking role in the absence of injured Callum Wilson, a post he will likely be given again at promoted Watford the Saturday.
He has played every minute of the league campaign to date, a rarity with fitness issues and a bout of Covid-19 having hampered his progress during his time in Tyneside, but by pulling full blast he demonstrated an exciting ability to run with the ball to pace and shake things up for himself and his teammates.
However, Newcastle are yet to win in six games in all competitions and Bruce knows the Frenchman can’t do it all on his own.
He said, “When he walked through the door I said he was going to pull you all out of your seats, that he would be a favorite. He’s playing as well as anyone in the Premier League right now, and when he plays like that it’s a pleasure to watch.
“He’s different, his pace, his power and his balance, and he does things that no one else can in the Premier League. It is only natural for him. Hopefully we can get a little more threat to his side. “
Bruce, who was booed again by some of the home crowd during and after the Leeds game, has new selection issues this weekend with skipper Jamaal Lascelles and the £ 25million summer signing Joe Willock , respectively injured in the thigh and the toe.