By Michael Brown

21st Feb, 2020 | 12:36pm

'I can't say enough' - Exclusive: Pundit raves over 'Rare' Newcastle ace after off-field report

Michael Brown has been left raving over Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie as the club reportedly prepare to tie him down to a new contract.

The former Tottenham and Portsmouth midfielder, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, revealed he was thoroughly impressed with the 30-year-old when he was a youngster coming through the ranks at Fratton Park.

The Shields Gazette report that Ritchie, who has been at St James’ Park for three and a half years, has agreed terms over a new deal tying him down on Tyneside.

Brown insists that his former teammate is the sort of character Steve Bruce would love to have around the dressing room and that sealing a new contract is good news all round.

“This is a kid I know well coming through the ranks at Portsmouth, him and Joel Ward were great examples, joining the senior players,” Brown told Football Insider.

“They weren’t really playing but they were training every single day, harder than anyone else, they were there at the gym every morning, noon and night trying to make themselves better.

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“I can’t say enough about that, the type of player, attitude and quality you want in the camp is Matt Ritchie. He’s a left-footer which is a little bit rare so he can play in several positions. Steve Bruce will be delighted.” 

Ritchie has a total of 137 games under his belt for Newcastle since joining from Bournemouth, playing a key role in the club’s promotion from the Championship and the subsequent seasons.

He has played 12 times across all competitions this term, an ankle injury sidelining him between August and January.

In other Newcastle United news, Alex Bruce has revealed why his dad will be delighted at St James’ Park this week.