‘He’s perfected the position’: Adrian Durham goes wild for Newcastle man he calls 3rd best in PL

talkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham has claimed that Newcastle United wing back Matt Ritchie is the third best left back/left wing back in the Premier League.

The Scotland international has made the position his own at St James’ Park since making the transition a year or so ago, and Durham feels he is now one of the best in the top flight.

“In terms of left wing backs, left backs or attacking left backs: you’ve got Andy Robertson, Lucas Digne and, for me, you’ve got Matt Ritchie,” he told talkSPORT [30/08; 16:37]. “He’s perfected the position.

“From being an out and out wide man, he has perfected that position. This [Ritchie’s injury] is massive for Newcastle – he is brilliant for them. He is a thorough professional as well, he loves being at the football club. For him to be out for two months is a massive blow for him and the team.”

OPINION

Look, Ritchie is a good player and he’s done remarkably well in transitioning from a winger to a defensively-sound wing back, but Durham’s going a bit far here, isn’t he? He’s got the top two left backs in the Premier League right with Robertson and Digne – there’s no arguing with that – but is he really saying that Ritchie is better than Ben Chilwell, Danny Rose or Oleksandr Zinchenko? There’s just no way, particularly in Chilwell’s case. The England international is simply a much better full back than the Scot, and it’s really not close. That’s no disrespect to Ritchie, he’s a natural winger after all, but Durham is getting a bit too excited, here. The injury to Ritchie, which Steve Bruce confirmed on Friday via Sky Sports, is a big blow to Newcastle, Durham’s right about that. The former Bournemouth man is absolutely crucial to this Magpies side, so to lose him for two months is very much a significant thorn in Bruce’s side.

This article was originally posted here