Everton want Allan Saint-Maximin if Richarlison leaves
As per a report by The Mirror (h/t Daily Mail), Everton manager Rafael Benitez is eyeing Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin if Richarlison leaves. The Brazilian striker is linked with a move to Real Madrid, the club which Carlo Ancelotti left the Toffees for this summer.
The Magpies value their 24-year-old Frenchman at around £60million, which is a significant increase from the £16.5million they paid to Nice in the summer of 2019 for his signature. But in a situation where the Toffees could make a move for his side’s star winger, what should Steve Bruce do?
Newcastle United cannot afford to sell Saint-Maximin
Their valuation for Saint-Maximin means they can make a profit if they sell him for that amount, considering the fee they paid for the winger two years back. But despite that, the club should keep him at St. James’ Park because of the shortage of players they have in that position. We will now take a close look at their forward line.
The club boasts of a decent forward line with the likes of Callum Wilson, Joelinton, Yoshinori Muto and Dwight Gayle. But such depth does not exist for them on the wings, especially if Saint-Maximin is allowed to leave. They only have Jacob Murphy and Ryan Fraser as their natural wingers apart from the former Nice player.
While Fraser and Murphy are both tied to long-term contracts at the club, they would be without competition for starts on the flank if Saint-Maximin is allowed to join Everton. Moreover, he is also one of the first names on the team sheet. Whenever he was fit for selection, Bruce always featured him in their league games last season.
Manning the left flank regularly for the Magpies, he has established himself as one of their main players. He even kept Fraser out of the matchday squads during the end of last season because the gaffer did not see dropping Saint-Maximin as an option. The Englishman is a big admirer of the winger himself.
Newcastle must shield Saint-Maximin from Everton interest
Speaking in an interview in April 2021 (h/t Sky Sports), Bruce labelled the winger as one of his team’s best players and issued a warning to any team that would be interested in signing him. That just goes to show how important he is to Bruce’s plans at Newcastle and how detrimental selling him could prove to be.
“Look, the last thing we want to be doing is selling our best players. For Allan himself, he needs to find a consistency, as in staying well and staying fit… when he’s playing and he’s playing injury-free, then he is a special, special talent, which inevitably will draw interest, of course.”
Saint-Maximin is also on a contract that expires in 2026, which puts the Magpies under no real pressure to sell him. If they do sanction a deal for him, it would most certainly require dipping into the transfer market to find a player of his calibre and replace him in the team. That is a headache they can do without.
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At 24, the winger can develop further and get better. He can be a player that any Newcastle manager can build his team around. The last thing Newcastle should do, if they want to make the top half of the league table again, is selling their starters. And Saint-Maximin, whose versatility allows him to play on either wing, is a useful member that should be kept at the club for years to come.