Newcastle could give Allan Saint-Maximin brilliant new partner in crime under Unai Emery

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Allan Saint-Maximin could be handed a brilliant new partner in crime if Newcastle United bring one of the stars of Villarreal’s team alongside manager Unai Emery. Emery has emerged as the surprise favourite for the vacant place in the dugout at St James’ Park.

The Magpies were taken over by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund last month, though surprisingly opted to keep Steve Bruce in place for their first game.

But they lost that match to Tottenham, with Bruce subsequently leaving the club just a few days later.

Graeme Jones has taken caretaker charge but is yet to win a game, with Newcastle currently second bottom of the Premier League.

An appointment for the role on a full-time basis appears to be closing in, with former Arsenal boss Emery the new favourite.

Emery has rebuilt his reputation at Villarreal, guiding the La Liga side to the Europa League title last season.

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It was a stunning way to end his first season in charge at the Estadio de la Cerámica, though his second campaign has not gone as well so far.

Villarreal have won just twice in La Liga, winning just two games to find themselves in 13th place, only three points above the relegation zone.

But his spell back in his home country has clearly impressed the new Saudi ownership at Newcastle, who are set to make him their first permanent managerial appointment.

If Emery did take over, it would be expected that he would raid his former club for reinforcements to help save the Magpies from relegation.

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Newcastle are among the league’s lowest scorers and will likely attempt to bring in attacking options over the coming transfer windows.

High up their list if Emery is appointed could be Samuel Chukwueze, who has impressed for Villarreal.

He scored five goals and notched eight assists as he became a key player under Emery last season, though he was injured for the Europa League final win over Manchester United.

Unfortunately for Chukwueze, he has been ruled out of all but five matches this season and is yet to start a game.

But the Nigerian international has impressed enough despite that slow start to this term to be a clear option for the newly-minted Magpies.

It would set up a mouth-watering front three of Saint-Maximin, Chukwueze and Callum Wilson and would certainly go some way to helping Newcastle escape relegation.

Signing Chukwueze would also help Emery to implement his style of football at the struggling Premier League side.

As a result, the Magpies should certainly push Chukwueze to the top of their list of targets if Emery does replace Bruce.
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