Harvey Barnes V Allan Saint-Maximin: End Product Trumps Flair

Newcastle United are needing to strengthen ahead of their return to the Champions League
12:00, 23 Jul 2023

Newcastle United are needing to strengthen their squad ahead of their return to the Champions League in 2023-24, with the club also looking to continue their momentum in the Premier League.

The Magpies have added midfielder Sandro Tonali to their ranks from AC Milan and they are closing in on their next signing. Newcastle are close to acquiring English winger Harvey Barnes from Leicester City in a deal worth around £38 million.

But as Barnes nears a switch to the North East, Allan Saint-Maximin edges nearer to a move to Al Ahli. The French winger has been an inconsistent presence for Newcastle during his four years at the club. Saint-Maximin's end product has often been found wanting but his fancy footwork and pace has been aesthetically pleasing to watch, with the attacker causing problems for most full-backs he faces.


While Barnes isn’t quite the showman on the ball Saint-Maximin is, he doesn’t lack end product, scoring 13 Premier League goals in the Leicester side that were relegated last term. This is precisely what Eddie Howe needs in his squad and Barnes is going to be viewed as an upgrade on Saint-Maximin as a result.

Apart from Callum Wilson (38) no Newcastle player has scored more goals than Barnes (37) over the past three seasons. For a winger those are very impressive numbers.  He has also provided 21 assists across all competitions during this period as well, and this could be bettered thanks to the quality of attacking players he will be linking up with in NE1. 

In comparison, Saint-Maximin has posted 23 goal involvements in total across all competitions in the past three campaigns. Barnes' stats are far superior which is why Newcastle are desperate to get him on board.


Barnes, like Saint-Maximin is an adventurous winger who looks to beat his defender in a one-on-one duel so he will bring the best of both worlds to Tyneside ready for the chance to showcase his talents on the biggest stage.

He will arrive at St James’ Park with plenty of valuable experience at Premier League level but he still has room to grow. We’ve seen just how much of an impact Howe’s coaching has had on most of his players since taking the Newcastle post back in 2021 and you can bank on him aiding Barnes in taking his game to the next level. The Newcastle boss will be very pleased at Barnes’ output already, 37 goals in three years is comparable to that of a striker. 

Some fans will be disappointed to see Saint-Maximin move on given his excellent abilities on the ball. However, his end product never seemed to improve at a rate the club needed and incoming Barnes has been providing goals and assists consistently in recent seasons, which will now be worth their weight in gold now that the Magpies are going to have a hectic schedule in 2023-24.

Then there is the fact that Newcastle are still working within a tight budget regarding Financial Fair Play. To bring in the quality of players they want, they will have to generate income from a couple of player sales. And thanks to his mesmerising dribbling skills, Saint-Maximin remains a valuable asset, which is why Al Ahli are willing to pay £30 million for his services. 

Newcastle are conducting brilliant business on both fronts here, which is what you can expect with Dan Ashworth as your sporting director. Not only are they strengthening their ranks in a key position of the team, they are receiving a respectable fee for the player that is getting replaced, which will allow them to continue with their impressive summer business before the transfer window closes.

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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