Newcastle United

Newcastle United

Premier League • England

Blow for Tottenham as Howe shares telling update on ‘unique’ Newcastle star amid departure rumours

Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton

Eddie Howe has provided a clear update on the future of Allan Saint-Maximin, who has been linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur in recent weeks. 

The Frenchman has only started 10 Premier League games for the Magpies this term but has been in the starting XI for seven of the last eight fixtures, putting in an admirable performance against Manchester United on Sunday.

Newcastle reportedly turned down several offers for Saint-Maximin in January and are poised for more enquiries in the summer, but it seems Howe would prefer to keep him for now.

As noted by the Northern Echo, when asked if Saint-Maximin remains a big part of his plans for the future, Howe said: “Without a doubt, I wouldn’t be picking him in the team if he wasn’t part of the now and the future because I don’t believe in that.

“The rest is up to Allan. Allan has to perform week in, week out to maintain his standing in the group.

“That’s the same for any player. We really like him, we really respect him, he can make a difference for us.”

As previously reported by TEAMtalk, Tottenham are interested in pursuing a summer move for Saint-Maximin, but given Howe’s latest comments, it seems unlikely that Newcastle will sanction a sale, especially to one of their biggest rivals.

READ MORE: Daniel Levy takes charge of £60m transfer Tottenham badly need, as Newcastle bidding war becomes inevitable

Howe ‘delighted’ with ‘unique’ Saint-Maximin

Despite initially struggling for minutes this season, the Frenchman recently said he is a “different player” to when he arrived at Newcastle in 2019, which, it’s fair to say, Howe is very pleased with.

“I think certainly there are things that we really believe in, we set a structure in place that we want the players to follow,” said Howe when asked whether he’d seen progress in Saint-Maximin.

“Allan has followed that. The same as everyone else. His behaviour day to day has been very good. No issues, no problems, he’s been fine.”

The manager also added that he wants to give players like Saint-Maximin the freedom to express themselves on the pitch, as he did against Manchester United.

“There is a train of thought that everyone is different and you have to try and know their differences and respect their differences but still try and get them to conform to the basic principles that you believe in,” Howe added.

“Allan is such a unique talent I wouldn’t coach Allan the way I would coach another player because you want his natural instincts and flair to still be relevant.

“I think from my perspective you have to get the balance right between getting the team to function without taking away that natural ability.

“I thought he gave a really good all-round performance on Sunday.”

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