Newcastle latest news: Magpies' rising star compared to Hatem Ben Arfa

Hatem Ben Arfa celebrates scoring for Newcastle

Journalist Liam Kennedy has compared Newcastle's talismanic attacker Allan Saint-Maximin to former Magpies star Hatem Ben Arfa.

What are Allan Saint-Maximin's stats this season?

Make no mistake about it, Saint-Maximin has enjoyed an affluent start to the new campaign. 

1 of 20

Who is Arsenal's top earner on £250,000-a-week?

The 24-year-old has notched up five goal involvements in six Premier League starts this term, with a 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa being the only game in which he's failed to contribute a goal or an assist. 

In that time, he's also averaged the joint-eighth-most key passes per game (2.7) of any Premier League player, while ranking second throughout the division for dribbles per game with a staggering 4.2.

Newcastle have managed just two goals without Saint-Maximin being directly involved this season and he's now only three goal contributions shy of beating his previous highest total in that respect - seven in each of the last two campaigns. 

How Arteta DOMINATED Nuno - Full tactical analysis on The Football Terrace...

What has Liam Kennedy said about Saint-Maximin?

Speaking with GIVEMESPORT, Newcastle World journalist Kennedy compared Saint-Maximin to Newcastle cult hero Ben Arfa, while stating that he needs to maintain a level of consistency across the remainder of the 2021/22 campaign. 

He told GMS: "He's got all the skills, he's got everything in his locker. I mentioned Hatem Ben Arfa earlier - comparable. You can't teach the kind of skill that they've got. Balance, poise, pace - everything about them.

"It's just about converting that and making it something consistent week-in, week-out and staying fit. That's what he's done this season. He's been absolutely outstanding."

GIVEMESPORT Playstation 5 Giveaway

Enter Giveaway

How does Saint-Maximin compare to Ben Arfa?

Ben Arfa was at his best for Newcastle during the two seasons after he signed permanently from Marseille in summer 2011. 

During 2011/12, Ben Arfa chipped in with five goals and five assists in the Premier League. As previously mentioned, Saint-Maximin is yet to actually reach ten goal involvements in a single top flight season for the Magpies - although he's already halfway there this term. 

1 of 12

What shirt number does Miguel Almiron wear for Newcastle?

But as Kennedy alludes to, probably the most direct shared trait between the two players is their dribbling ability. This was most prevalent during 2012/13 for Ben Arfa, when he averaged 4.2 successful dribbles per game in the top flight - the exact return Saint-Maximin has produced this term.

Nonetheless, not every aspect of the comparison is positive and the biggest frustration with Ben Arfa was always his fitness and consistency. He missed 59 games through injury at Newcastle and never started more than 16 times in a Premier League term. 

Saint-Maximin has suffered similar issues - he's already missed 33 games for the Toon and is yet to better the 23 Premier League starts of his debut campaign. 

News Now - Sport News