Newcastle United star tipped to become ‘one of the best in the world’ by teammate

The Magpies star has received a major seal of approval from a January signing.

Newcastle United striker Chris Wood believes Magpies team-mate Allan Saint-Maximin has the potential to become ‘one of the best in the world’.

The former Nice winger has become a firm favourite with the Gallowgate faithful since moving to Tyneside in a £20m deal in the summer of 2019. With his electric pace and wide-range of skills, Saint-Maximin was one of the few positives throughout Steve Bruce’s reign as United manager as the Magpies successfully fought their way out of a relegation battle.

After scoring nine goals and providing 14 assists in his 65 appearances working under the former Manchester United defender, there were high hopes Saint-Maximin would flourish under the more attack-minded management of Eddie Howe.

A return of three goals and five assists in 32 appearances during Howe’s first year in charge may represent a modest return but there are high hopes he could find a significant role playing alongside the likes of Bruno Guimaraes, Alexander Isak and Callum Wilson.

The French winger has received the seal of approval from Wood, who gave an insight into what has impressed him about Saint-Maximin over the last 11 months.

He told Eurosport: “We have a lot of good players here and Allan is definitely one of them. He (Saint-Maximin) shows a lot of talent on the field and on the training ground and has the potential to achieve anything he wants. I think in the future he can be one of the best in the world.”

Wood was a surprise signing during the January transfer window as the Magpies new owners met a £25m release clause in his Burnley contract to add him to a squad looking to fight its way out of relegation trouble.

Although the New Zealand international only scored two goals in 17 appearances last season, he did play a part in helping Howe’s side preserve their top flight status and lay the foundations for a much improved performance during the current campaign. With United heading into the international break sat in third place in the Premier League table, Wood insisted more genuine success could lie ahead at St James Park.

He said: “It’s fantastic to be part of this project and I believe that Newcastle will eventually be in contention for the Premier League and the Champions League titles. It will take years to build the infrastructure and foundation for the team to chase those dreams.”