Former Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie has tipped his old club to make a summer move for maverick Newcastle attacker Allan Saint-Maximin.
Saint-Maximin has only managed 19 appearances for Newcastle this season, netting three times and adding four assists. The flying winger has been hampered by injury issues throughout the campaign but was in unstoppable form as he scored an incredible solo goal in the win at Burnley on Sunday.
Newcastle struggled badly without Saint-Maximin, winning only two of the their last 21 games before victory at Turf Moor.
The 24-year-old, who signed from Nice in 2019, is renowned for his driggling ability and direct style. And, speaking to the Transfer Tavern, Hendrie believes the France Under-21 would be perfect for Villa.
He said: “He [Allan Saint-Maximin] is one that I would certainly take. He’s got that Premier League credibility.
“We have seen what he can do. He’s got that attack rate, he’s got flair, you know, all sorts.
“He could be a key addition to a Villa side that I feel… that’s where they’ve really lacked, in wide areas.
“Touched on Trezeguet before, I think he’d certainly come into the side, he reminds me in certain elements of [Bertrand] Traore. But he’s possibly got that little bit more element of pace going forward and he’s very direct.
“So he’d be someone I’d certainly be looking at.”
Newcastle’s hopes of keeping the flying attacker were given a massive boost by victory over Burnley.
However, whether they stay up or not, there are expected to be bids for Saint-Maximin this summer.
That will mean Villa facing a fight to land a player Hendrie would love to see in the claret and blue.
Serie A defender on Newcastle radar
Newcastle United are reportedly eyeing a summer swoop for Sampdoria defender Omar Colley but only if they can fight off relegation and remain in the Premier League.
The Magpies’ top-flight future hangs in the balance after a dreadful run of form. Having held their own for the first half of the campaign, they have plummeted down the table since mid December. A run of two wins and six draws from 19 games sees them 17th in the table. The Tynesiders are three points better off than 18th-placed Fulham and do have a game in hand.
But it looks like going down to the wire and it is anyone’s guess as to who will fall through the trapdoor. Newcastle have conceded 50 league goals this term and, with the strikers misfiring, it is a recipe for disaster.
There have been signs of life in recent times, with four draws in their last five games. But a run of positive results for the Cottagers would see Steve Bruce’s side plunged into the bottom three.
Should they manage to beat the drop, it is unlikely that owner Mike Ashley will sanction any big-money summer deals. However, there will be new faces and Colley has been linked before, according to Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness).
The north-east outfit were thought to hold an interest last summer but nothing materialised.
The Magpies are by no means the only English top-flight club following the Gambia international. Leeds United, West Ham and Fulham have all been mentioned in connection with the 28-year-old.