Tottenham Hotspur boss Antonio Conte has only just had his squad bolstered by the signings of Arnaut Danjuma and Pedro Porro, although the serial-winning coach and Fabio Paratici may well already have one eye on the summer window and the prospect of further new recruits at N17.
Whether or not the Italian does remain at the helm – amid doubts over his future beyond the end of the season – the north Londoners would seemingly be wise to take the advice of former striker Louis Saha, with the now-retired Frenchman having tipped the club to make a move for Newcastle United speedster, Allan Saint-Maximin.
Having been discussing the 25-year-old’s future at St James’ Park, Saha suggested that Spurs – or bitter rivals Arsenal – could be an ideal destination for the fleet-footed maverick:
“It’s unbelievable because last season Saint-Maximin was unreal and nobody would have been thinking about the prospect of Newcastle United selling him. He’s been unlucky this season with injuries, but he’s a top player and he could potentially find a move to one of the ‘big six’ clubs. I could see Arsenal or Tottenham having a player of Saint-Maximin’s quality and style.”
Reports during the summer had claimed that Tottenham – as well as Chelsea – had made an enquiry regarding the prospect of prising the former Nice man from Tyneside, amid suggestions that the Magpies were open to a £50m exit for the winger.
The £70k-per-week maestro has since endured a rather frustrating, injury-hit campaign in which he has failed to secure a regular role in Eddie Howe’s side, having scored just once and provided three assists after making only five starts in all competitions.
With reports linking the player with a move away during January, it remains to be seen what the one-time Monaco man’s long-term future is at his current side, opening up the possibility for Conte and co to pounce come the end of the season.
Despite his recent struggles, Saint-Maximin is a figure who is simply “unplayable” on his day, according to ex-Everton boss Frank Lampard, with the frightening, “wing wizard” – as lauded by journalist Graeme Bailey – notably ranking in the top 1% for dribbles completed among his European peers.
The hope will be that if he is to make the move to the capital in the near future, the 5 foot 8 ace can emulate the success of another Frenchman to have traded Newcastle for Spurs in the form of David Ginola.
The one-time Paris Saint-Germain ace arrived in north London from the northeast side back in 1997, going on to quickly cement himself as something of a talisman for the Lilywhites in the years that followed, having been ‘pure box office’ due to his ‘movie star looks and style both on and off the pitch’, as per the club’s official website.
Like Saint-Maximin, the now-retired gem was a truly devastating threat down the flanks when in his pomp, with Manchester United legend Gary Neville previously admitting that he was left “nervous” at the prospect of facing up against the forward, such was Ginola’s technical and physical brilliance.
Those traits were laid bare by the fact that even in the year in which the Red Devils claimed the treble during the 1998/99 season, it was Ginola who swooped the PFA Player of the Year award in that campaign, having also guided Spurs to League Cup glory that season.
A figure etched into Tottenham folklore, the 56-year-old would seemingly be a hard act to follow for Saint-Maximin, although the latter man appears to have the confidence and the quality to emerge as the club’s next, talismanic presence.