In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, Steve Howey, who made 270 career appearances, has backed Matt Ritchie to step up and become Newcastle United captain during Jamaal Lascelles’ time on the sidelines.
Ritchie started for the first time against Tottenham Hotspur last Sunday since the 3-1 defeat to Leicester City at the start of January, and he was instrumental in the Magpies’ equaliser as he whipped the ball into the box before the goal.
Just last month it was reported that Steve Bruce had a bust-up with Ritchie after their 1-1 draw against Wolves, as the winger failed to pass on instructions when he was subbed on before Ruben Neves scored.
Speaking on if Ritchie would be a good captain for the Magpies and why it could be what the fans want instead of current vice-captain Jonjo Shelvey, Howey told FFC:
“I don’t see why not because I think Shelvey’s been captain when Lascelles hasn’t been fit and that’s maybe not who the fans would expect.
“I don’t think the fans would have any qualms whatsoever about Matt Ritchie getting the captaincy.”
Ritchie joined Newcastle from Bournemouth in 2016 as he dropped into the Championship to play for the Magpies under Rafa Benitez.
The £45,000-per-week winger has found regular game time difficult to come by this season having been handed just eight starts in the Premier League.