Benitez makes surprise revelation about Newcastle star in injury update

By Russell Edge

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has claimed that winger Matt Ritchie has been playing too much football recently.

The Scottish winger was forced to pull out of his country’s crucial World Cup qualifying matches with Slovakia and Slovenia after picking up a knock in his club’s clash with Liverpool.

The 28-year-old has been a crucial member of the Magpies’ squad this season, often finding himself at the centre of his side’s attacks, having set up four assists for his team mates already.

However boss Benitez has revealed that he is having to work very hard to manage his injury, keeping in constant contact with the medical team.

The Spanish boss surprisingly revealed that the injury has come as a result of the winger’s game time this season.

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He told the Chronicle: “Matt Ritchie has been playing too many games.

“He was working very hard, he had a little bit of discomfort and a few little things that he was talking with the doctor.

“It was better that we didn’t take a risk.”

Benitez also provided an update on Ghana forward Christian Atsu, who was another forced to pull out of international duty through injury.

“He has a little bit of discomfort in his knee and we have to manage it carefully,” he told the Chronicle.

The newspaper have previously reported that Atsu’s issue has been ongoing over the season, and that it was the reason he was left out of the starting XI against Swansea earlier this season, although he appeared as a second half substitute.

Newcastle’s next fixture sees them make the long journey down to the south coast to take on Southampton, and Benitez will be hoping that he has both wingers available for selection.

In other Newcastle United news, Football Insider has named the Magpies’ best three players of the season.

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