Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Eddie Howe warns revitalised Newcastle star out to thwart Tottenham after key manager realisation

Eddie Howe of Newcastle

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has revealed his excitement at seeing Allan Saint-Maximin back in action following the international break.

The Magpies’ 2019 signing from Nice has had his standout moments but has largely proved an inconsistent goalscorer. Injuries have not helped in that regard. Still, his raw talent has won him plaudits at St James’ Park.

Former Newcastle manager Steve Bruce regularly praised the 25-year-old’s ability to create chances out of very little.

And while his finishing has often let him down, current Magpies manager Howe shares the same sentiment as Bruce.

Saint-Maximin went into the international break suffering from a mixture of illness and injury. The Frenchman has only played 66 minutes in the last five Premier League games.

However, Howe insisted that the absence of international duty for the attacker has served him well ahead of Newcastle’s trip to Tottenham on Sunday.

“Whenever a player has some time away with illness and injury it’s very difficult to get them back up to speed straight away,” Howe told his pre-match press conference.

“So, this break has been very good for him. He’s trained very well and we’re excited to see him back.”

Howe added that he has “never coached anyone quite like” Saint-Maximin.

Saint-Maximin interest from Chelsea and Liverpool as Newcastle consider sale

Saint-Maximin interest from Chelsea and Liverpool as Newcastle consider sale

Allan Saint-Maximin is receiving interest from Liverpool and Chelsea to leave Newcastle this summer

“Some of the things he can do and some of the things he’s done in the last two weeks training-wise have been very, very good to see,” the manager said.

“But it’s about harnessing that and trying to make that function for the team. Maxi is very keen to make a difference. He’s very keen to do well for the team, he cares passionately about the club, so I’m excited to see what he can deliver.”

Howe admitted, though, that “consistency will always be an issue because it’s very difficult to see what he does”.

Nevertheless, the coach has realised since working with Saint-Maximin that “over-coaching” the attacker can blunt his “impulsive” natural talent.

Howe has therefore promised to “let him do his stuff” for Newcastle, with commitment to addressing the weaknesses in his game – recovery runs and working off the ball – the next step.

Saint-Maximin joined by further Newcastle boosts

Allan Saint-Maximin and Douglas Luiz

Saint-Maximin will be looking to add to his tally of five Premier League goals and three assists this season.

He last scored against Watford in January, when he netted in two games on the bounce.

But as well as the revitalised Frenchman, Howe revealed further injury boosts for Newcastle centre-back Fabian Schar and goalkeeper Martin Dubravka.

“Fabian Schar came back having not trained or played but we’ve had a couple of sessions with him so we think he’ll be fit,” the manager said.

“Martin Dubravka trained with us yesterday for the first time so we hope he’ll be fine.”

Meanwhile, midfielder Jonjo Shelvey “has had a bout of illness but should be OK.”

However, Kieran Trippier and Callum Wilson will not face Tottenham.

The former is set for a scan on a foot injury. If the results show progress, Howe hopes to “push him quite quickly” to get the England right-back into his team again.

Striker Wilson, meanwhile, is recovering from a calf and Achilles problem. “He’s back on the grass running, but I still think he’s got a little bit more time ahead,” Howe said.