Matt Ritchie reveals what he's told Joelinton on the training ground
Matt Ritchie's confident that Joelinton will succeed in the Premier League – as he's got it all.
Joelinton struggled in last weekend's 3-1 defeat to Norwich City before limping off with a hip problem.
However, the 22-year-old, signed from Hoffenheim this summer in a £40million deal, is expected to be fit for Sunday's game away to Tottenham Hotspur.
Joelinton – who put a header wide at Carrow Road – replaced former loanee Salomon Rondon at St James's Park.
And Ritchie, tasked with delivering balls into the box for Joelinton, has been encouraged by what he has seen from Joelinton on and off the pitch.
“He’s been fantastic in training," said Ritchie. "He’s a really nice lad. In the last couple of weeks you’ve seen him grow in confidence in the dressing room and building relationships. Obviously, that always helps, and hopefully we’ve helped him settle.
“He looks like he’s got everything a top striker needs, and hopefully he can fulfil his potential here.”
Ritchie, fielded as a wing-back by head coach Steve Bruce, is developing an understanding with Joeltinon.
“It’s brilliant for me," said Ritchie. "He wants to attack the first post. He’s good in the air. He’s got good movement. I spoke to him, and I think he knows if it does come to me, at the earliest opportunity I’ll put it in the box, and hopefully he’ll get on the end of them. It’s down to me to put balls in good areas, and I know he’ll be there.”
On Joelinton's performance against Norwich, Ritchie said: "He’s new to this league, and, like anyone who comes over here, he has to get used to it.
"He's finding out what it is all about, but we’ve already seen in training that he has a lot of qualities, and I'm sure we’ll see them on the pitch before too long."
Newcastle, without a win from their first two games, are now the favourites for relegation from the Premier League.
“Everyone has to be patient," said Ritchie. "We have new players in, and there’s been a slight adjustment to the system. We’re only two games into the system."