By Amir Mir
Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie has spoken about his admiration for club legends David Ginola and Alan Shearer, but has named the latter as his favourite Toon player.
Ritchie joined the Magpies for a fee of £12 million from Premier League outfit Bournemouth and he gave a simple answer when asked about who his favourite Newcastle player is.
“I’d probably have to say Alan Shearer, just for the amount of goals he scored and the career he had.” Richie told the official Newcastle website.
Shearer is a former Premier League winner with Blackburn andthe Premier League’s all-time leading scorer with 260 goals.
Ritchie pointed out that he was an inspiration to him when growing up.
“It was a fantastic career and he’s someone who, as a kid, I think every player looked up to,” said Ritchie.
The Scotland international made his debut for the north-east club on Saturday by scoring a wonder goal in a pre-season against Czech Republic minnows Bohemian.
The 26-year-old will more than likely operate as a winger or wide midfielder as Newcastle prepare for the forthcoming Championship campaign.
It is a position former Toon player, Ginola made his own during his time in the north-east, operating on the left wing and dazzling his opponents.
Ritchie, who operates on the right, revealed the Frenchaen was a player who he admired very highly during his two-year spell at Newcastle and eight-year stay in England.
“I’d have to say David Ginola. He was a player that I looked up to when I was a kid,” said Ritchie. “I thought very highly of him, he was a top player, and obviously he had a fantastic career so yeah, David Ginola for me.”
The attacking midfielder was named Bournemouth’s player of the year last season scoring four goals and making five assists as his former side secured safety in their first appearance in the top flight.
The winger faces a new challenge now as he bids to help his new side secure promotion back to the Premier League after relegation last term.
The Newcastle player revealed his aspirations and goals for the coming season as he hopes to have a positive impact on team and their performances.
“I try not to set actual numbers but I have in my head that I’d like to get ten goals and ten assists minimum,” said Ritchie.
“But that’s a target that, as the season goes on, hopefully I can adjust. The main thing is to have an impact on the team and success of the football club.”
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez will be hoping his £12 million signing can make the same impact he had during his time at Bournemouth as the club prepares for its first Championship game away at Fulham on August 5.