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That’s in line with Craig Hope, with the journalist revealing in a current report for the Each day Mail that Matt Ritchie appears to be like unlikely to be accessible for choice for the journey to Craven Cottage this weekend.
It’s acknowledged the 33-year-old picked up a calf harm throughout coaching final week – though it’s hoped the midfielder’s layoff will probably be minimal.
Issues mounting for Howe
Accidents are actually beginning to stack up for Howe with Ritchie’s setback coming following the information that Alexander Isak, Chris Wooden and Jonjo Shelvey all look set to take a seat out the Fulham fixture as a result of their very own respective knocks, whereas Elliot Anderson and Allan Saint-Maximin are additionally doubts for the journey to west London.
Whereas it’s true that, following Matt Targett’s mortgage transfer to St. James’ Park again in January – a deal that the membership made a everlasting change this summer season – Ritchie has seen his recreation time change into way more restricted for the Magpies, the midfielder’s absence this weekend will however come as a blow to Howe.
Certainly, the previous Scotland worldwide has been a mainstay in Newcastle’s 20-man matchday squads to this point this season, being an unused substitute in all however one of many membership’s seven Premier League fixtures in 2022/23 – taking part in one minute of the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers again in August.
Regardless of this, the £1.63m-rated expertise has nonetheless confirmed this time period that he’s a dependable choice to be referred to as upon when required, one thing that will probably be of giant significance contemplating the hectic fixture schedule earlier than the World Cup in Qatar.
He demonstrated how invaluable a rotation possibility he could be when taking part in the total 90 minutes of Newcastle’s 2-1 Carabao Cup victory over Tranmere Rovers final month – with the 33-year-old incomes a formidable SofaScore match score of 7.0 for his efforts on the night time.
Moreover, the 16-cap worldwide’s positional versatility additionally makes him an extremely helpful a part of Howe’s first-team squad, with the £45k-per-week winger filling in at left-back for the overwhelming majority of his 18 Premier League appearances final season.
As such, whereas Ritchie was by no means overly more likely to be handed a begin at Craven Cottage on Saturday afternoon, it’s clear to see that the midfielder’s absence from the bench will however come as a blow to Howe – notably following the information that Isak, Wooden and Shelvey may also be unavailable for choice towards Fulham.