The 25-year-old has been the main man at St. James’ Park since signing from OGC Nice in 2019. In that time, Newcastle have only fought relegation and have not challenged for any trophies or even a European spot.
The Frenchman continues to be a beacon, however, and has played a big part in their sudden resurgence this season which has seen them morph into the most in-form team in Europe’s top five leagues since the turn of the year.
Newcastle’s new owners have also tried to convince the player of his value to the club, after reports claimed that a secret meeting between Saint-Maximin and one of the owners was about doubling his salary and making him front and centre of the new Magpies project.
The winger is not short of confidence as can be seen from his recent interview with French magazine So Foot. Asked to compare himself with some of the best attackers on the league in his position, Sadio Mane in particular, the winger said: “Those who have played with me know very well that in terms of pure quality, I have nothing to envy of Sadio Mané. The day when I have a player capable of finishing chances, I will have seasons with 10-15 assists, and I will change the perception in peoples’ heads.”
Saint-Maximin also said that he draws inspiration from ancient Greek philosophers Plato, Socrates and Aristotle and that he aims to emulate Michael Jordan, a sporting icon associated with NBA franchise Chicago Bulls. The 59-year-old Jordan is commonly rated as the best player to ever play basketball and Saint-Maximin is aiming for those heights.
He explained: “My aim is to do things that leave a mark on people’s minds, and to change the rules.
“In a similar way to what Michael Jordan has managed to do. He has changed people’s lives. Jordan has given employment to people, and that is beautiful.”
Meanwhile, Hugo Ekitike could be on his way to Bayern Munich instead of Newcastle after reports emerged of the Bavarians throwing their hat in the race for the teenage striker.
Ekitike, 19, almost joined the Magpies in January but some unfinished business led to the deal being called off by Stade de Reims. Newcastle have bid again for the striker and it appears that the French Ligue 1 club is willing to let the deal go through this time around.
However, reports from France claim that Bayern Munich are weighing up a move for the young striker. Bayern’s pull is sure to trounce Newcastle’s and the Magpies could be forced to look elsewhere.