It has been a whirlwind summer for Newcastle United. It started with a feeling of hope, as a potential takeover of the club appeared a real possibility.
Yet that hope quickly turned to despair when Rafael Benitez left his role as manager at the end of June, and last season's two top scorers for the Magpies in the Premier League, Ayoze Perez and Salomon Rondon, departed as well.
And then when Steve Bruce was appointed as the new manager in July, it seemed that the club had hit rock-bottom.
Now the tide may be changing. Whisper it quietly Newcastle fans, but there might just be cause for optimism once more. Joelinton was signed from Hoffenheim last week for a club record fee, and on Friday it was confirmed that Allan Saint-Maximin had joined from Nice for £16.5m.
Joelinton will be tasked with filling the void that Rondon has left, and Saint-Maximin will be expected to replace Perez. Can he do it? Here are the reasons to believe he can.
Saint-Maximin Delivers Goals
Perez was outstanding for Newcastle last season, scoring 12 goals and providing two assists in the Premier League as he played a major role in keeping the club clear of relegation.
Over in France, Saint-Maximin was also doing a fine job for Nice. He ended the campaign with six goals and five assists in Ligue 1, meaning he was directly involved in 11 goals compared to Perez's 14. Saint-Maximin's statistics are even more impressive given that Nice only managed 30 goals all season.
His ability to score and create goals should hold him in good stead to take on the role that Perez mastered so well last season.
He Is Only Getting Better
Saint-Maximin has been a regular starter in Ligue 1 for the past three seasons, accumulating 98 appearances in those three campaigns. Each season his influence on the team has grown.
In 2016/17 he played for Bastia, and scored three goals whilst delivering three assists for the club. Hardly standout numbers, but they were enough to earn him a move to Nice. At Nice, he also netted three goals in his opening league campaign, yet increased his number of assists to seven. Last season, he doubled his goal tally.
Perez endeared himself to the Newcastle fans by improving each season, culminating in last year which led to Leicester buying him. The same trend can be seen with Saint-Maximin. At just 22 years of age, he is four years Perez's junior, and still has plenty of developing to do. If he continues to progress at his current rate then the Geordie faithful will see him surpass Perez's achievements on Tyneside.
He Has Experience of Different European Leagues
When a player moves from one high-profile European league to another there are often doubts surrounding how well they will adapt. The style of play in France is different to that which is seen in England, so it can be difficult to settle in.
However, Saint-Maximin brings with him experience of playing for different teams in different leagues. Not only has he featured for four French clubs, but he also spent the 2015/16 season on loan at Hannover in Germany. There he played in 16 games in the Bundesliga, gaining valuable experience.
It is by no means a certainty that Saint-Maximin will hit the ground running upon his arrival at Newcastle. His time in France and Germany have given him the chances to adapt at a young age though, which should allow him to flourish in his third different European league.