Newcastle are concerned that summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin will remain sidelined for another month, having aggravated his hamstring problem suffered in the win over Tottenham.
The winger signed from Nice for a reported £16m and made his debut off the bench in Newcastle’s season opener against Arsenal. However, Saint-Maximin subsequently strained his hamstring in training, thereby missing his side’s defeat to Norwich.
The 22-year-old proceeded to start against Spurs the following week, but had to be replaced early in the game after the injury reoccurred. In hindsight, Saint-Maximin looks to have been rushed back to quickly by Steve Bruce, who was desperate for a result at the time.
According to the Chronicle, Bruce will not repeat his mistake and the Frenchman will be given adequate time to recover:
“Brighton will be far too early for Saint-Maximin. At the earliest I could see him playing a part against Chelsea [October 19] and not any sooner.
“That’s because there’s a concern in the coaching staff that he’s not had much of a pre-season due to injury. They won’t rush him back this time.”
Newcastle have high hopes for Saint-Maximin, with much of their attacking threat dependent on how he settles at the club and in the Premier League.
When considering whether Newcastle have improved from last season, the Chronicle continued: “I think we can only make a true judgement when Saint-Maximin returns from injury.
“He’s absolutely key to the supposed improvement in attacking play which Newcastle hope their near £60m investment in attacking players will bring about.”
In the meantime, Newcastle will be hopeful that Christian Atsu can maintain his promising start to the season. The former Chelsea man replaced Saint-Maximin and assisted Joelinton’s winner against Spurs, and is reported to have heavily impressed Bruce in training.