Newcastle fans have Bruce to thank for Saint-Maximin's impressive numbers
Allan Saint-Maximin has Bruce to thank for his form.
Saint-Maximin has been in inspired form this season.
The Frenchman has already scored twice and assisted three times this season.
He’s just one goal and one assist away from matching his tally from last season of three goals and four assists.
However, he’s done this in just six games so far, whereas last season it took the 24-year-old 25 games (Transfermarkt).
Steve Bruce has to be given credit for the increased productivity from his talented attacker.
Last season, Saint-Maximin played 11 games from the left-wing.
This season, though, he’s played exclusively through the middle, either as a centre-forward or slightly deeper in attacking midfield (Transfermarkt).
This change in position, mainly brought on by an injury to Callum Wilson, has seen Saint-Maximin explode.
Allan Saint-Maximin has Bruce to thank for his form
Saint-Maximin was averaging 1.71 shots and 1.65 key passes per 90 last season.
Those numbers are now up to 2.17 shots and 2.67 key passes per 90 in the current campaign (Understat).
The 24-year-old is still averaging 0.16 goals per 90 this season, as he was last year.
However, his 0.43xA per 90 is much higher than the 0.23xA per 90 he averaged last season.
Steve Bruce has clearly seen that Saint-Maximin can thrive through the middle and has made the necessary change.
Unfortunately, Saint-Maximin hasn’t been able to contribute to a win yet at Newcastle this season.
He’s scored two crucial equalisers, against Southampton and Leeds, earning his side a couple of points.
However, if Bruce is to really reap the rewards from this tactical masterstroke then they’ll have to get a win soon.
The Magpies should have beaten Watford on the weekend but came up short.
Next up for the Geordies is a trip to Wolves.
Saint-Maximin is again set to start as a central forward and could wreak havoc.
If the Frenchman can help his side string some wins together then he could alleviate the pressure on his manager.
Bruce would certainly deserve some leeway too, having made this key change.