Newcastle United will miss a dynamic component in midfield for quite some time.
Newcastle United will be in action against Arsenal in the FA Cup today, and the Magpies have some crucial games coming up in the league over the next two weeks.
As things stand, Newcastle United are in the bottom six, but they are eight points clear of 18th-placed Fulham. Steve Bruce needs his wingers to step up and perform if they are to extend that cushion and fight for a place closer to the top ten.
That task will become more difficult now that Bruce has made a key admission about star man Allan Saint-Maximin. The Magpies’ most notable name in midfield is back on Tyneside to begin light training with the team, but fans should not get too excited.
According to Bruce, Saint-Maximin will suffer the same the same fate as Martin Dubravka, meaning he will be demoted to the bench. Not having featured in a Premier League game since November 21st against Chelsea, it will take some time for the dynamic Frenchman to adjust and win his place back.
Since his absence, Newcastle United have a record of two victories, two draws, and three defeats. The team has certainly missed his ability to spark instant offense in the final third, and this is reflected in the fact that Newcastle United have only scored eight goals in six games.
With Saint-Maximin not expected to earn regular minutes for several weeks, the trio of Miguel Almiron, Jacob Murphy, and Ryan Fraser need to step up their game and contribute offensively with more goals.
The Toon are far too dependent on Callum Wilson, who has eight goals and three assists to his name. The aforementioned trio must wake up and develop some consistency, especially Miguel Almiron, who has fallen short of expectations set by the coaching staff and the fans.
Fraser has been battling some injuries in his first season at St. James’ Park, but he has shown flashes of individual brilliance. The Scotland international has what it takes to be the dark horse the team needs in the second half of the season.