Steve Bruce has urged Allan Saint-Maximin to follow in the footsteps of Adama Traore as he attempts to establish himself as a Premier League star.
The 23-year-old Frenchman has already made a big impact since his £16million arrival from Nice last summer with his high-octane brand of attacking football.
However, he will go head-to-head with Wolves’ Spain international Traore on Sunday knowing he still has much to learn and with the Magpies head coach pointing at the former Barcelona, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough man as an example of what he needs to do.
Bruce said: “They’re both very similar, explosive pace, outstanding pace. Traore looks as if he’s matured over the last two or three years. In particular he’s matured his final pass, his final delivery, his all-round consistency.
“From where he was two or three years ago, you can see the development in him, and that’s got to be the same thing with Allan too.
“They’re both very, very exciting to watch, both on their day are match-winners and certainly Traore – over the last couple of years in particular – is starting to fulfil that potential which we’ve all seen for the last few years.”
Newcastle will head for the Midlands determined to bounce back from their late collapse against Manchester United last weekend when a largely-undeserved point was snatched from their grasp by a late three-goal salvo.
Bruce has set his sights on a top-10 finish this season after ending the last campaign in 13th, but ultimately, he wants to be competing on an even keel with the likes of Wolves, who have successive seventh places to their name since their return to the top fight.
He said: “That’s certainly got to be the aim. They were the best team I’d seen in the Championship for donkey’s years. They were an incredible side and when you looked through them, you did wonder how they were all playing in the Championship.
“Fair play to them how they’ve done it. How they’ve got the players they’ve got, you can only ask them, but certainly yes, we aspire to be up and around where Wolves have been for the last two or three years.
“Whoever is in the top 10, that is what we try to aspire to and try to get there. That’s got to be our aim.”
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