Newcastle must replace ASM with Pepe

Newcastle United must prepare for the departure of star Allan Saint-Maximin this summer, and may need to take a chance on his replacement.

Which is the word?

According to a Daily Mail report, Newcastle’s star striker is expected to be sold this summer, with the fee received expected to be returned to Eddie Howe’s side.

Among the Frenchman’s discussed replacements are Nottingham Forest’s Brennan Johnson and Bayer Leverkusen’s Moussa Diaby, while Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe has also been linked with a move to St. James’ Park this season.

Read the latest Newcastle transfer rumors and news!

However, in a recent interview with Football Insider, former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan claimed that a move for the Gunners attacker would be a risky move.

Speaking about the Magpies’ potential interest in the 26-year-old, Whelan said: “A loan move may be something Newcastle would like. These are the type of players they will target. He could change his career and end up being that important player. But right now, it’s a gamble.”

Goodbye Saint-Maximin

Saint-Maximin has once again proved his importance this season in more ways than one.

His five goals and three assists have been imperative in Newcastle’s attempt to secure survival in the Premier League, although the biggest positive for the Magpies has been his ability to dribble and carry the ball.

It’s no surprise that the 25-year-old ranks first in the Newcastle team for successful dribbles per game at 4.3. Quite simply, his skill on the ball is often the catalyst for his team’s counter-attacks, with the £28.8m forward being by far the most efficient ball carrier.

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However, while losing a player of the caliber of Saint-Maximin would certainly be a huge blow to the Magpies, they could employ a similar replacement in Nicolas Pepe, the Arsenal winger who has struggled to live up to his massive fee. transfer. since he signed from Lille in 2019.

Although he has faced scrutiny, he hasn’t exactly been a bust in England so far. His potential has always been there, with the end product of him on display for all to see last season, when he scored an impressive 10 goals in just 29 appearances for the Gunners.

Indeed, his £72m fee has arguably been his biggest enemy during his time in England, but a move to Newcastle for a rumored £25m fee could free up the 26-year-old Ivory Coast international’s reins.

Pepe is a technical player, like Saint-Maximin, who thrives in possession, more specifically in the attacking third. With around 35 touches in the attacking third for every 90, he ranks in the 93rd percentile among positionally similar players within Europe’s top 5 leagues in the last 365 days.

For context, Saint-Maximin is ranked in the 81st percentile with about 23 touches in the attacking third per 90.

In this regard, the £140k-a-week Pepe who, according to Joe Cole, “makes things happen” would serve as an upgrade to his composure in the final third.

He may be a risk for some, but the underlying stats suggest the Arsenal winger has what it takes to replace Allan Saint-Maximin at Newcastle United, leading us to believe PIF must take a chance on Pepe this summer.

In other news: Fee agreed: NUFC now set to seal first summer signing, Howe surely on the moon

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