Allan Saint-Maximin, aged 26, has announced his departure from Newcastle as he prepares for a likely transfer to the financially lucrative Saudi Pro League.
The French winger, who has been strongly linked with a £30 million ($38.5 million) move to Al-Ahli, shared a goodbye message on his Instagram account.
He expresses his affection for the Premier League team and contemplates their transformation from a struggling team facing relegation to an impressive fourth-place finish in the previous season.
Newcastle, under the management of Eddie Howe, have made significant financial investments since the club’s Saudi-backed owners assumed control in October 2021.
Saint-Maximin said: “I fell for Newcastle, I had great opportunities to leave during dark days, but that was too late. I was already in love, I wanted, I needed, I had to stay for helping my team to save the club from Premier League relegation because it meant the world for me.”
“Of course during those dark days some may have had their doubts, but I always believed in this club and look where we are today, it’s just so beautiful. I’m leaving Newcastle as it should always have been and that’s my greatest trophy because I was a part of it.”
Since his arrival from Nice in 2019, Saint-Maximin has played in 124 games for the club and has managed to score 13 goals.
There is a noticeable trend of prominent players making moves to Saudi Arabia, with the likes of Roberto Firmino, Riyad Mahrez, and Edouard Mendy already signing for Al-Ahli. Additionally, Karim Benzema, Jordan Henderson, and N’Golo Kante have also recently joined Pro League clubs.