Newcastle boss Steve Bruce says Allan Saint-Maximin is currently playing as well as anybody in the Premier League and cannot bring himself to even think about losing the winger.
Saint-Maximin, was a £16.5m signing, rising to a possible £20m in add-ons when he arrived from Nice in August 2019.
Bruce made it clear when he signed that he would get bums off seats and the 24-year-old Frenchman has done just that.
The speedy winger had a series of injuries which blighted his season in 2020/21 and he also contracted Covid-19. He did though make 25 Premier League appearances, scoring three times and grabbed four assists.
This time around he as started in blistering form and put in a virtuoso performance in last Friday night’s 1-1 draw with Leeds.
Saint-Maximin grabbed a point with a superb equaliser at St James’ Park and very nearly won it for the Magpies late on.
It’s no surprise Bruce’s star man is getting admiring glances from elsewhere.
However, head coach Bruce insists he has not sought assurances over the future of a man who signed a new six-year contract barely a year after signing.
Bruce said: “I haven’t even had that conversation – and I don’t want to have that conversation, as you can imagine. Look, we don’t want to lose our best players at all.
Saint-Maximin ‘a joy to watch’
“For now, I’m not going to have that conversation with anybody because we want to keep our best players.”
Handed a central striking role due to Callum Wilson’s injury, Saint-Maximin has stepped up to the plate. And he is expected to get the nod as the Magpies’ No.9 at Watford on Saturday.
Bruce added: “When he walked through the door, I said he was going to get all of you off your seats, that he’d be a firm favourite. He’s playing as well as anybody can in the Premier League at the moment, and when he’s playing like this then he is a joy to watch.
“He’s something different, his pace and power and his balance, and he does things which nobody else can do in the Premier League. It’s all natural to him. Let’s hope we can get a bit more threat alongside him.”
Skipper Jamaal Lascelles and Joe Willock will be sidelined by thigh and toe injuries respectively at Vicarage Road.