Newcastle United player ranked as Europe’s best in this department amid Champions League links

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Allan Saint-Maximin is reportedly interesting Tottenham Hotspur - and it could be something to do with this stat.

Newcastle United forward Allan Saint-Maximin is being linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur this summer - however, unless a mega offer comes the Magpies’ way, the Frenchman is likely to stay at St James’ Park.

Reports over the weekend put Antonio Conte’s name to a list of interest suitors for the enigmatic attacker. The Spurs links come hot on the heals of reported interest from Wolves and Everton in recent transfer windows.

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Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United is challenged by Jack Cork of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor on May 22, 2022 in Burnley, England. Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United is challenged by Jack Cork of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor on May 22, 2022 in Burnley, England.
Allan Saint-Maximin of Newcastle United is challenged by Jack Cork of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor on May 22, 2022 in Burnley, England. | Getty Images

Saint-Maximin is valued by Howe, but the club are not against selling the player who whilst enjoyed his most productive season in black and white, endured a campaign of stark peaks and troughs.

On the winger’s future, Howe said in April: “I’ve got a great relationship with Maxi. I’ve really enjoyed working with him and we need him at his very best levels. He could potentially be the difference.

“He’s an incredible talent and of course he has a long-term future at the club.”

However, the situation took a turn in May when an interview with French publication So Foot went public.

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In that controversial interview the player said: “The day I have a player capable of finishing actions, I will make seasons with 10-15 assists, and I will change dimensions in people’s heads.”

The comment did not go down well in the United camp.

Taking to Twitter Saint-Maximin clarified: “The interview I did with Sofoot has been taken out of context and shortened on Twitter.

“I never said anything negative about my teammates, I simply said as any Newcastle fan would that I was looking forward to having an even better team so that we could progress collectively.

“And that as a result I could also progress individually.”

Then Howe was asked at a press conference for his thoughts.

The head coach said: “I saw the quotes, spoke with Allan. I think I need to make this clear that Allan’s quotes didn’t come across in the way he meant them to.

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“He was concerned yesterday. We spoke and in no way did he mean to damage the team and the unity that we’ve built. Of course, he said things in an interview, but, as I said, it wasn’t in the context that he meant, although it happened.

“We will be speaking with the squad, and making sure there’s no fall-out from that, because unity has been our strength. It’s vitally important that we keep that at all costs.”

Saint-Maximin’s huge dip in form in the final months of the season, after a goal and assist-laden start to the campaign, combined with the ‘out of context’ quotes drama has led many to believe his days on Tyneside could be numbered.

But one thing massively in the player’s favour - putting any potential price tag aside - is his ability to do things few others in European and World football can compete with.

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And this statistic, of which Saint-Maximin is a European leader, is one of the main reasons why the former Nice man could be on Tyneside to stay.

Saint-Maximin leads the way for the most successful take ons completed in Europe’s top seven leagues with 150.

That puts him ahead of Paris Saint-Germain and France star Kylian Mbappe (111) and Wolves’ Adam Traore (107), who finished the season on loan with Barcelona.

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