'Just the way I play' – Saint-Maximin opens up on humiliating veteran EPL defender – originally posted on Sportslens.com
Newcastle United forward Allan Saint-Maximin ran circles around veteran West Ham United right-back Pablo Zabaleta when both sides met at the London Stadium last November.
The Magpies ran out 3-2 winners, with the Hammers’ attempt to mount a comeback after going 3-0 down yielding nothing.
Saint-Maximin was at his devastating best on that day, constantly tormenting the Argentine full-back for 73 minutes.
The 35-year-old was withdrawn after straining his limbs, and he didn’t return to action until boxing day.
Saint-Maximin’s colourful displays and burst of pace have seen him endear himself to Newcastle fans, and there is no doubt that he is a joy to watch.
The Frenchman is a thorn in the flesh of defenders, and he has revealed that his constant dribbling isn’t an attempt to humiliate anyone but a personal way of playing.
ASM took to Twitter to open up on his battle with Zabaleta last year, claiming he has nothing but respect for the two-time Premier League winner.
Thank you just one thing, I never tried to humiliate anyone on the pitch, it’s just the way I play football, I have great respect toward Zabaleta and I wish I could have a great career like his
— Allan Saint-Maximin (@asaintmaximin) April 23, 2020
In his prime, Zabaleta would have fancied his chances against the Newcastle winger, and the performance was a painful reminder that he is no longer that defender that dominated with Manchester City.
He has played 14 games across all competitions for West Ham this term and has become the first Argentinean, and only the third South American, to record 300 Premier League appearances.
Zabaleta’s deal expires at the end of the season, and it’s safe to say the Hammers won’t be looking to extend his contract.
Saint-Maximin, 23, will hope to have a great career like the Argentine, and if he can improve his finishing (he has three goals and an assist in 21 appearances for Newcastle), he has the potential to become one of the best forwards in the top-flight.
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