By Tom Blackburn
Newcastle midfielder Matt Ritchie has compared new Red Bull Leipzig signing and Scottish sensation Oliver Burke to Gareth Bale.
Burke left Nottingham Forest this week and his fellow Scotland international Ritchie claims the midfielder is different to the Real Madrid talisman but has the potential to be great.
“I think if you look at his stature he is very much like Gareth Bale,” said Ritchie ahead of Scotland’s opening World Cup qualifier against Malta, as quoted by the Daily Star.
“I don’t want to build him up to be Gareth Bale because he is his own man and his own player.
“But, from what I have seen, his ability – the sky is the limit for him and it is all about his mentality, staying grounded and working hard and hopefully he can fulfil his potential.
“It would be great for Scotland.”
The youngster has two Scotland caps to his name so far in his short career, coming off the bench in friendlies against Italy and Denmark in the second half of last season.
He has had just one full season of senior football having come through the Nottingham Forest system at the end of the 2014-15 season before starring last season.
In total for the east midlands club Burke played 30 times, scoring six goals and supplying three assists. That said it is his form this season that has caught the eye, with the youngster scoring four goals in five Championship games.
Prior to the Lipzeig switch, the 19-year-old had a whole host of clubs chasing him including Tottenham, Arsenal, Liverpool, West Ham, Sunderland and European giants Bayern Munich.
The Sun claim Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is particularly angry with his scouting staff for failing to pursue the youngster, having pinpointed him as a hot prospect.
In other Newcastle news, Rafa Benitez reveals change in their transfer policy.