Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce

The return of Allan Saint-Maximin could be a potential game-changer for Steve Bruce and Newcastle United, according to Alan Hutton.

The former Villa and Tottenham defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the French winger has been a “massive” miss and that his comeback could bring some positivity to the Magpies’ style of play.

Newcastle took to Twitter to post pictures of the 23-year-old back in training this week after he suffered the effects of contracting Covid-19.

Newcastle have scored just once in their last seven games across all competitions and are the fifth-lowest scorers in the Premier League with 18 goals in as many matches.

The Magpies’ winless run, which stretches back seven games in the league, has seen Bruce and his men slip to 15th in the table, seven points clear of Fulham in 18th.

Hutton believes a more positive outlook is required from his former boss and suggested Saint-Maximin’s return could be the catalyst.

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Reacting to the training ground pictures, Hutton told Football Insider: “I think Saint-Maximin is a massive miss for them.

“I think they need him back as soon as possible because he is the one guy that can create something out of nothing, but I just think, just go and give it everything, why sit back and wait to get beat?

“Me personally, I would rather see Bruce, he’s got players there that are good players, that can attack – if you’re going to go down, go down fighting, in my opinion.”

Saint-Maximin has not featured for the Magpies since picking up a calf injury in the defeat to Chelsea back in November.

He proceeded to catch Coronavirus amid an outbreak at Newcastle’s training ground and was joined by club captain Jamaal Lascelles as the longest absentees as a result.

In other news, a top pundit has tipped Newcastle United to sign a defender on a loan-to-buy deal.