Exclusive: Newcastle source reveals new reason Saint-Maximin axed
Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce dropped Allan Saint-Maximin to the bench against Burnley for purely tactical reasons, Football Insider has learned.
The 22-year-old winger had started four of the Magpies’ last five Premier League games but was surprisingly axed for Saturday’s goalless draw and came on for just 12 minutes.
A well-placed Newcastle source has told Football Insider that the decision was due to a switch of formation and to counter the threat of Sean Dyche’s side.
The coaching think-tank wanted a more defensively-minded player than the highly offensive Saint-Maximin because Burnley play a rigid 4-4-2 in which everyone operates to Sean Dyche’s strict tactical instructions.
Bruce opted to play centre-forward Joelinton on the left and it helped contribute to a clean sheet for his goal-shy side.
This comes amid speculation of a major fall-out between crowd-pleasing attacker Saint-Maximin and Bruce.
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The Mail has claimed the Frenchman’s future on Tyneside is in doubt after being dropped, with the suggestion that there are concerns over his performances on the training ground.
However, the source told Football Insider there are no issues between Saint-Maximin and Bruce and that he is set to feature against West Brom on Tuesday night after recovering from a small injury problem.
Saturday’s draw means that Newcastle, who started with Dwight Gayle, Joelinton and Miguel Almiron as their attacking options, have gone five Premier League games without a win.
Saint-Maximin, who arrived on Tyneside from Nice last summer, has played a total of 19 times for the Magpies so far, a number of injury problems curtailing his campaign.
He missed three of the opening five games of the season due to muscular problems, before being sidelined for six matches with a hamstring issue.
In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson has revealed the Magpies star he wanted Leeds United to sign.