The Newcastle duo with a big year ahead

There has been a lot of talk in the media about the Newcastle United takeover and, more specifically, who they might sign if and when it happens. The thing is, signing top quality players rarely comes that easy to a club in the Magpies position. What Newcastle do already have though is two players who could really help them kick on next year. Step forward Miguel Almiron and Allan Saint-Maximin.

Their Newcastle career so far

Miguel Almiron

Okay, let’s start by taking a look at Almiron. He arrived to the North East in January 2019 for a fee of £21 from MLS side Atlanta United. It is the most a player from the MLS had ever been sold for. The Paraguayan showed early on that he has ability. He has desire to take the ball on, he can turn, he can play intricate passes and his all-round game is tidy. Yet fast forward 23 games into his Premier League career and he had failed to score or assist – at all! A shoddy return for an attack minded midfield player.

Then the duck was broken. It was the end of November; Newcastle were hosting Man City. They fell behind early on but levelled up soon after when Jetro Willems slammed home Almiron’s cut back. Three weeks later he hooked in the only goal – his first – in a win over Crystal Palace. A weight was lifted. You could see him begin to play with more freedom, not trying so hard. By the time the season was halted he’d contributed six goals and an assist in all competitions. Somewhat more respectable.

Allan Saint-Maximin

Maximin was a pre-season addition who cost £16m from Nice. The 23 year old had a disturbed start to life on Tyneside with niggling injuries preventing him a prolonged run in the team. He is very much a player who makes the most of his time on the pitch though. If Almiron is a player who offers craft and guile to open doors then Maximin is the Newcastle equivalent of blowing the doors off.

He’s strong, direct and has a top speed somewhere close to that what Usain Bolt averages over a 100m sprint. The former French under 21 loves a pop at goal too and screamers do crop up now and then! During his first season with the club he has a goal involvement every three games with three goals and four assists in 21. Again, a reasonable return.

How do they stack up for divi wins?

Maximin has scooped a performance win once before, although it did come in his days in Ligue 1 with a second place media buzz the only other dividend ranking of note. Almiron meanwhile is yet to register any success on the dividend front but he has broken the 200 mark, which is a haul that could win you a pay out.

Their 12 month average scores are more modest though at 77 (Maximin) and 62 (Almiron). We suggest you don’t judge them on this though and instead look at their overall potential.

What the future holds?

Here’s where it really gets interesting. If the takeover goes ahead then one of two things happens at St James’ Park. Either Steve Bruce stays in charge but is forced to go more expansive (the fans will demand it) in which case these two will be key to his plans. Alternatively, someone else takes the hot seat to deliver an attacking style. Regardless, Newcastle have two pivotal players on their hands and more ball in the final third should see higher PB scores.

The other possibility is that bigger clubs come sniffing. Everton have been linked with Maximin and a move to Merseyside, particularly with Carlo Ancelotti in charge, could see his current price of £2.01 spike before settling at a higher baseline. Longer term the Toffees have eyes on European football too, which will do him no harm at all.

Where Almiron is concerned, word is that Mikel Arteta is keen. Now, if that rumour gathers pace, there are serious gains to be had. Not only is Almiron only £0.94 but his style would fit into Arsenal’s approach wonderfully. He’d be surrounded by far better players too and with the likes of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (if he stays) collecting his passes as opposed to Joelinton (no offence) you’d have to fancy his PB scores to go through the roof compared his current average.

The verdict

Both players represent value, particularly over a slightly longer hold.  We expect Maximin’s price to increase in the coming months but Almiron – especially given his lower price – has the potential to make huge gains.

So, where is your cash going? Miguel Almiron or Allan Saint-Maximin?

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