Allan Saint-Maximin has described one so-called Liverpool ‘fan’ as “ungrateful” after asking to swap him for Sadio Mane, saying “there’s still a long way before I could reach his level.”
Newcastle winger Saint-Maximin was a key threat throughout Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Anfield, with his pace and skill troubling a disjointed Reds back line.
It took a cynical foul from Fabinho to thwart the Frenchman on the counter in the final minutes of the game, which was ultimately decided by Joe Willock’s late, late equaliser.
He completed more dribbles (eight) than the rest of his team-mates combined (six) and only two fewer than the whole of the Liverpool side (10), as he continues an impressive second campaign at St James’ Park.
At 24, Saint-Maximin looks set for a big move eventually, but he believes he is a “long way” off the level of Mane, despite the insistence of one Twitter troll.
In a now-deleted tweet, user @_mayorman asked “can you come to Liverpool and Mane goes the other way?”, gaining a response from the vocal Magpies No. 10.
I know you think it’s a nice message to me but I don’t like this. Be respectful to him please you are ungrateful, he did and he’s doing a lot for Liverpool, there still a long way before I could reach his level
— Allan Saint-Maximin (@asaintmaximin) April 24, 2021
“I know you think it’s a nice message to me but I don’t like this,” Saint-Maximin wrote.
“Be respectful to him please you are ungrateful. He did and he’s doing a lot for Liverpool, there’s still a long way before I could reach his level.”
There has been increased scrutiny over the form of Mane in the second half of this season, with the Senegalese acknowledging his struggle in front of goal.
Monday night saw him net his first Premier League goal in three months, but he floundered again five days later as he attempted six shots with only one on landing target – no player at Anfield had more efforts.
Mane was strongly criticised for wasting a one-on-one chance when put through by Mo Salah in the first half, with there still clearly a mental block for the 29-year-old due to his poor record of late.
Jurgen Klopp will undoubtedly keep faith in his No. 10, but there is cause to question whether an overhaul of his attacking ranks should be a priority this summer.
There should certainly be at least one addition up front, replacing the sub-par Divock Origi, but the arrival of another contender for a first-choice berth could be considered too.
Perhaps Saint-Maximin will, in fact, be on the radar – with Klopp having described the former Nice forward as a “proper footballer” before the game.