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Newcastle complete Allan Saint-Maximin exit

The departure of Allan Saint-Maximin has now been confirmed by Newcastle United, with Italian journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano providing a fresh update on his move to Al Ahli on Sunday afternoon.

Newcastle have finally completed the sale of Saint-Maximin, with the French winger joining many players in a move to the Saudi Pro League and will play alongside former Liverpool star Roberto Firmino and Manchester City treble-winner Riyad Mahrez.

The Magpies have had their hands tied with Financial Fair Play concerns and needed to sanction a move away for one of their more valuable assets in order to strengthen their squad beyond the signing of Sandro Tonali this summer.

Ex-Leicester City goal-scorer Harvey Barnes has also already completed his return to the Premier League via St James’ Park and will be expected to replace Saint-Maximin on the left flank over next season.

It is reported that Newcastle are still keen to strengthen key areas of the pitch ahead of their long-awaited return to Champions League football, with a centre-back and full-backs being targeted over the remainder of the transfer window.

Whilst Newcastle released their own statement on the exit of their attacking mainstay, Romano took to Twitter to further confirm Saint-Maximin’s next chapter:

“Official, confirmed. Allan Saint-Maximin joins Al Ahli on permanent transfer from Newcastle #AlAhli”

Our thoughts on Newcastle’s sale of Allan Saint-Maximin…

Whilst the North East club have made a number of lucrative signings since their Saudi-led takeover, they have struggled to offload the players who were at the club ahead of becoming the richest football project in the world.

Both Chris Wood and Jonjo Shelvey made moves to Nottingham Forest in the January transfer window, however, due to the long contracts and poor recruitment sanctioned by former owner Mike Ashley, the club have limited assets of value at St James’ Park.

Indeed, it would’ve been a difficult farewell for supporters upon the sale for Saint-Maximin who became a solid favourite during his four years of service, however, over the last 18 months the Frenchman has struggled to make a consistent impact in the team due to injury and ultimately found himself falling out of favour under Eddie Howe.

Since the beginning of the 2021/22 campaign, the 26-year-old has suffered seven separate instances of injury amounting to 112 days in recovery and 16 fixtures missed, which has seen the winger unable to fulfil his duties in the forward line on many occasions.

Having said that, his moments of magic and entertaining style on the ball which led to 13 goals scored and 21 assists delivered over 124 appearances will be sorely missed, something that Eddie Howe has praised in the past.

In December of last year, the Newcastle boss made a huge statement about his former forward:

“Maxi is a massive player for us. For me, he is the best dribbler in the Premier League and you need that in your team.”

With that being said, the Tyneside club are clearly desperate to make improvements and add depth in important roles this summer, and sacrificing Saint-Maximin is something that opens the door for them financially to complete those last-minute deals needed to compete again at the highest level next season.

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