Newcastle United travel away to the Vitality Stadium on Saturday as they prepare to take on newly-promoted side AFC Bournemouth in the Premier League.
The Magpies have only won one of their last five matches in the top-flight and have only found the back of the net on two occasions in that time.
Eddie Howe’s side were held to a 1-1 draw by West Ham United at St. James’ Park in their last outing and will now be looking to return to winning ways this weekend.
Will Anthony Gordon start against Bournemouth?
In the draw with the Hammers, Allan Saint-Maximin started out wide on the left and struggled to make a significant impact on the match in the final third.
The French dynamo had one shot, that was blocked, and failed to create any chances for his teammates, whilst completing 65% of his attempted passes, in 69 minutes on the pitch – as per Sofascore.
It was his 11th successive competitive appearance without a goal or an assist for Newcastle and his woeful form in front of goal could see him dropped to the bench on Saturday.
In his place, Howe should unleash January signing Anthony Gordon, who was dubbed “raw” by journalist Luke Edwards, from the start after the England under-21 international’s bright cameo last time out.
As per Sofascore, the former Everton man completed 91% of his attempted passes, won 100% (1/1) of his duels, and created one chance in just 21 minutes of action, with reporter Ciaran Kelly claiming that the Englishman “looks rapid”.
Who should start on the left wing?
The Magpies head coach stated that the gem is “ready” to start if needed and said:
“A really positive debut last week. The first impression you give the supporters is such an important moment. I did some one-to-one work with him on Monday and he trained with the group the rest of the week. He’s shown some really good signs.”
Gordon, who has scored three goals in 12 Premier League starts this term, created more chances in 21 minutes as a substitute – on his debut – than Saint-Maximin managed in well over an hour of action.
His display led former Express and Star editor Laura Blyth to state that the 6-foot winger looked “streets ahead” of the Frenchman and the aforementioned statistics do back up that claim.
The Englishman’s bright spark off the bench was impressive, as shown by the stats and the comments from Howe and reporters, and the gem must now be unleashed from the start against Bournemouth to see if the forward can make a big impact over the course of 90 minutes.