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Newcastle fullback Trippier: Saint-Maximin has Ballon d'Or ability

Newcastle fullback Kieran Trippier admits he's been stunned by the ability of Allan Saint-Maximin.

The Magpies' number 10 is enjoying his best season in black-and-white to date, registering five goals and three assists so far.

Trippier told the True Geordie podcast: "Honestly, I've never seen anything like it. I don't even know how to explain it, honestly, he's mental.

"Even in training, I just stand off him. We were doing a six-v-six, he had the ball and he wouldn't pass to anyone. Everyone was trying to get the ball of him, I was diving in to tackle him and he's just one of those players that gets you on the edge of your seat. I have never seen anything like him before.

"I've had conversations with him since I've been there. You look at him against Everton for example, he was incredible. There's sometimes in games where he's done the hard bit...he can release it a bit earlier but he has that magic where he can make anything happen.

"Even I don't know what he's going to do with it, but he doesn't want to change that how direct he is with the ball. I've spoke to him and he's said to me how he wants to win the Ballon d'Or, and he wants to play for his national side.

"He will reach that, he has all the ability in the world. He'll add improvements to his game, like releasing it to get an assist and little things like that, but he's a quality player.

"You go back to the Leeds game, he was tracking back and working hard. If you want to win these types of individual awards or play for your national team, these are the things you're going to have to do.

"Going back to Madrid with [Diego] Simeone, if you didn't run you weren't going to play. You had to run through a brick wall for him, and I say to him and I give him certain examples if you want to reach the top, you have to do these things.

"He knows that, and he does do that. Fair play to him."

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