Malcolm Macdonald has singled out Newcastle United wing-back Matt Ritchie as being every manager’s dream.
Macdonald, better known as Supermac, claimed Ritchie has a bit of everything and can play in a number of different positions which he has proved this season – filling in as a full-back, a winger, and in behind the striker.
Writing in his column for the Chronicle, Supermac suggested that Steve Bruce will be gutted to lose a player like Ritchie after it was confirmed he would miss two months of action for the Magpies [Sky Sports].
“Matt Ritchie is the sort of player who is every manager’s dream,” he said.
“He has a bit of everything. That is why Steve Bruce will have been gutted when he saw Ritchie cut down by a horror tackle in the midweek league cup tie.”
Ritchie was forced off against Leicester City on Wednesday night after a tackle from Hamza Choudhary led to the Scotsman picking up an ankle ligament injury [Sky Sports].
Ritchie has been the ultimate professional since Bruce has arrived at the club, and even when Rafael Benitez was in charge. The Spaniard first placed the 29-year-old at left-wing-back, and he didn’t shy away from the responsibility. Playing as a full-back, Ritchie can still play as a winger, and even showed he can still push forward when in behind the striker on Wednesday. Bruce will be gutted that Ritchie is out of action for two months, with the utility man the perfect player for the Magpies right now. Defensively, the experienced Scot has averaged two tackles per game, as well as 1.7 interceptions according to WhoScored. That is more impressive when you recognise that Ritchie has averaged a single shot on goal and completed 2.3 key passes going forward [WhoScored]. With Jetro Willems ready to come in, Bruce has an immediate answer to the problem, but the Magpies’ boss will be crossing his fingers for a quick return.