Newcastle United v Liverpool - Premier League
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'In terms of quality': PL player says he has the talent of Liverpool's Sadio Mané, suggests he just lacks teammates

Newcastle United winger Allan Saint-Maximin says he doesn’t envy the ‘quality’ of Liverpool forward Sadio Mané. He feels he just lacks the teammates.

Allan Saint-Maximin gave an interesting interview with French magazine So Foot this week. He talked about his own ability, claiming he has no reason to envy Liverpool winger Sadio Mané when it comes to his ability.

“Those who have played with me know very well that in terms of pure quality, I have nothing to envy of Sadio Mané,” he said. The Frenchman then suggested that teammates were the difference here.

“The day when I have a player capable of finishing chances, I will have seasons with 10-15 assists, and I will change the perception in peoples’ heads.”

Allan Saint-Maximin vs Liverpool’s Sadio Mané

We’re not sure anyone truly agrees with this outside of Saint-Maximin himself. He is arguably better than Mané and at dribbling past four players at once, though.

Every other facet of being a forward, though, we’d give to Liverpool’s no.10. He scores goals, gets assists and shows it at the absolute highest level.

Now, to be fair to Saint-Maximin, he does slightly better Mané when it comes to creating chances. Statsbomb data on FBref shows us that the Newcastle United manages around 0.17 ‘expected assists’ per 90 minutes. In other words, the quality of chances he creates per game should lead to an assist every six games.

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Mané’s, in contrast, is 0.14 per 90. Though, both numbers fall well short of ’10-15 assists’ and Mané’s number is his lowest for three years.

Mohamed Salah, as a comparison, has 13 Premier League assists this season. His xA is double Saint-Maximin’s, though, at 0.35 per 90.

But really, at this point, we’re spending far too long using data to show that Saint-Maximin is talking nonsense. Mané is enjoying a magnificent period of form where he’s scoring some of the biggest goals in the game. He’s now up to 14 in the Premier League and another five in the Champions League.

He’s doing it while learning a new role, too, and performing it to perfection. Saint-Maximin has never come remotely close to these levels and likely never will.

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