Arsenal and Napoli are ready to lock horns to secure the services of Newcastle forward Allan Saint-Maximin.
According to a report published by Le 10 Sport, Arsenal and Napoli are ready to battle it out for the signature of Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin.
Saint-Maximin joined Newcastle from OGC Nice in 2019 for €18 million after an impressive couple of years in the French top division. Last season, he racked up 34 appearances, scoring six goals and providing three assists. The current Newcastle star was their best player as Nice managed a 7th place finish.
Since moving to England, the Frenchman has taken to the pitch 22 times, scoring three goals and setting up four for his teammates. Out of the four assists he has given his season, three came against AFC Bournemouth last week as Newcastle put four past them. Even though his goal contributions are underwhelming, Saint-Maximin has registered the second-highest successful take-ons per game in the Premier League, with 4.6, second only to Adama Traore’s five per game.
Since Project Restart commenced, Saint-Maximin has looked like a more mature player who does not hog the ball and can release it early to create chances. Subsequently, he has attracted interest from top teams like Arsenal and Napoli, and a move to either of the two would be a huge step up in his career.
Last summer, Arsenal announced the signing of Nicolas Pepe for a club-record €80 million. But, it would be fair to say that the Ivorian has not been able to completely justify his price tag and has been subject to criticism for the same. On the left flank, however, Mikel Arteta has resorted to using Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is the second-highest scorer in the PL with 19 goals. But, his contract expires in June 2021, and this summer would be the perfect time to cash in on him to avoid losing him for free next year.
Arsenal can use this money to invest in Saint-Maximin, who is more than worthy to fill the left-wing role while one of Bukayo Saka or Pepe takes up the spot on the right. Moreover, the 23-year-old can also play as a striker, and could replace his compatriot Alexandre Lacazette who has been underperforming for months now.
Napoli broke their club-record fee as well when they secured the services of Hirving Lozano last summer, bringing him in for €40 million. However, the Mexican has been extremely poor all season, starting just eight games, and a total of 20 appearances. In his limited time on the pitch, Lozano has three goals and an assist. At the moment, though, he remains the fifth-choice winger.
The Naples outfit would have to, in all probability, break their transfer record for a second successive season to land Saint-Maximin. He would serve as an excellent backup to club captain Lorenzo Insigne or could make the spot on the right his own, a position recently occupied by Matteo Politano. It has been just over a year since Saint-Maximin joined Newcastle and with the possibility of a huge club takeover soon, it will be interesting to see if and where he moves to this summer.