Ex-Middlesbrough boss claims Eddie Howe doesn’t ‘really fancy’ £20m attacker

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Allan Saint-Maximin was benched for Newcastle United’s defeat to Man City

Chris Wilder has questioned whether Eddie Howe ‘really fancies’ Allan Saint-Maximin after he was dropped for Newcastle United’s 2-0 defeat to Man City today. The Frenchman proved to be a threat up top as he was handed a start in last weekend’s Carabao Cup final.

The Magpies made it three matches in a row without a goal at the Etihad Stadium and, despite their need for some flair and threat in attack, Saint-Maximin was limited to a cameo appearance after he was brought on on the hour mark. The winger has only started seven matches in the Premier League this season and has netted one goal.

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Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Wilder said: “I do wonder if Eddie Howe really fancies Allan Saint-Maximin because I’d imagine he’d be playing, as one of the more important players, in a game as big as this. This is arguably Newcastle’s best team out today for their most important game.”

Saint-Maximin has previously attracted plenty of interest from top clubs due to his excellent performances on Tyneside, however his future is now looking uncertain for a different reason. Journalist Rudy Galetti previously claimed that Newcastle had slapped a £60 million price tag on the attacker during the January transfer window, however they may consider lowering their asking price this summer if they decide to move him on.

The 25-year-old has scored 13 goals and provided 19 assists since moving to St. James’ Park three-and-a-half years ago. However, he has failed to find the back of the net since United’s 1-1 draw with Wolves back in August and has fallen down the pecking order behind the likes of Anthony Gordon and Miguel Almiron.

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