Allan Saint-Maximin ordered to emulate Toon legend after six-year deal joy

Allan Saint-Maximin has been backed to become Newcastle's “new David Ginola” and ordered to become a “historic” player on Tyneside.

The French winger penned a six year contract this week, doubling his money to around £70k a week, and boss Steve Bruce has laid down a new challenge.

Ginola was a hero on Tyneside during the Kevin Keegan era, and Bruce believes a thriving Saint-Maximin can have a similar impact.

The 23-year-old said he was persuaded to stay at St James' Park because of the “project” and Bruce says that means becoming a world beater.

Bruce said: “The next step for him is for him to be part of the history of this great club. Can he be a Ginola? He can be anything he wants.

“I hope that maturity that will come, and that he keeps the maverick in him that makes him the player he is.

“He scored a goal in training the other day and it was ludicrous how good it was.

“He is jumping around the place this week. He's had a nice new pay deal and he couldn't be happier. We have seen his impact in the last 12 months. He has been excellent. His best years are ahead of him. He is only 23 and he has committed his future.

“I get to hear about his social media and he is as big a star on that as on the pitch. He is a really bright lad. Intelligent. He is great to have around the place.

“We have all seen him play for the last 12 months. The goal he scored, the one he set up last time out against Burnley…. he was the only one of the pitch who could do those things.

“He has to be more consistent and more disciplined at times. But he has the world at his feet. When he matures we hope he turns into the player we see, week in week out. He has everything in front of him.”

Newcastle chief scout Steve Nickson has been cited by Saint-Maximin as a key influence, with regular chats and advice.

Bruce added: “Steve was instrumental bringing him to the club. He was involved with him when we signed him. He can associate with him behind the scenes and quietly behind the scenes tried to look after him. That goes for all my staff.

“We want to keep all players happy. The way we look after them with housing, we feed them, we even have someone who pays their bills. I've never had anyone pay a gas bill or a car park fine!”

Newcastle have a clean bill of health ahead of their clash with Manchester United on Saturday night.

Bruce fears a backlash from his former club after their 6-1 thrashing by Spurs two weeks ago.

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He said: “They will be deeply upset and disappointed. They will want to erase that memory. You fear a backlash. It is about how they respond. They will come and show what they are. They are wounded and disappointed and make no mistake they have top player in their team.

“I always fear when they have a bad result because they usually come out all guns blazing. That backlash is usually there. The win against Man U last season was arguably the highlight. I wish 52,000 were coming tomorrow.”

Bruce is convinced Old Trafford skipper Harry Maguire will come through his on and off field nightmares, which peaked with his sending off for England on Wednesday.

He signed the defender for Hull and knows him well. Bruce explained: “The one thing about playing for Man U and being captain is you are under the spotlight. He is a level headed lad.

“He's had a wonderful rise, and his is mature enough to handle it. It is his first blip. The sending off for England could happen to anyone.

“With Harry, he has borne the brunt. He has to batten down the hatches like we all do when under the pump. He will be fine. He has the ability.”

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