Jamaal Lascelles reveals what awestruck Matt Ritchie told him after signing for Newcastle

Matt Ritchie
Matt Ritchie

Jamaal Lascelles is relieved he’ll finally have Matt Ritchie on his side at Newcastle United this season.

Lascelles faced the winger, signed this summer for £10million, when he was at Bournemouth.

I had a chat with him the other day and he was just saying how big the team could be with the players we’ve got. He said the tempo in training is really high.

Jamaal Lascelles

And the 22-year-old defender knows to his cost how dangerous Ritchie can be on the wing.

Relegated United also signed forward Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace this month, and Lascelles feels the pair can wreak havoc in the Championship this season.

“They’re massive signings,” said Lascelles, signed from Nottingham Forest two years ago. “I was so pleased when I found out they were signing for us. They show great passion and are going to work hard.

“I’ve played against Ritchie a few times at Forest and Newcastle and every time he’s hurt us.

“I had a chat with him the other day and he was just saying how big the team could be with the players we’ve got. He said the tempo in training is really high. For him to say that, an experienced player, shows the quality we’ve got.

“He’s another voice as well, which we need.”

Gayle – who scored seven goals for Palace last season – left Selhurst Park in search of more regular first-team football.

Lascelles feels Gayle will prove to be a huge asset.

“Gayle’s a massive signing,” added Lascelles.

“Some people have said we lacked that in-behind player, and I think he’ll bring that.

“He always looks to play off the shoulder, and he’ll get goals. I’m really pleased with that.”