Ritchie’s injury leaves Newcastle United exposed at left-back

Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie receives medical treatment. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie receives medical treatment. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /

With a shoulder injury taking Matt Ritchie out for an extended period of time, Newcastle should be working hard to add another left-back behind Jamal Lewis.

While they were able to come back for an undeserved draw, Newcastle United did lose Matt Ritchie on Sunday vs. Spurs. The winger/left-back suffered a significant shoulder injury and Steve Bruce confirmed that surgery will be required. According to Keith Downie of Sky Sports, he will miss at least two months of action.

Now, the club’s already thin depth at left-back is even thinner. Jamal Lewis is the first-choice option after arriving from Norwich City, but who is there behind him? Ritchie started in his place vs. Spurs with Lewis recovering from a kick to the face in the Brighton loss. But, once Ritchie went off injured, Lewis was the only option to replace him.

Paul Dummett, a left-back converted to center-back, picked up a knock in preseason and hasn’t featured yet this season. Achraf Lazaar is an afterthought and there isn’t another true left-back on the roster. Javier Manquillo has played there in the past, as has DeAndre Yedlin sparingly, but Manquillo is needed on the right flank and Yedlin appears set to depart the club.

The club was reportedly close to signing Rogerio from Sassuolo before they inked Lewis. Could they re-open those talks for the young Brazilian? His price tag wasn’t unreasonable before, but Mike Ashley may not be comfortable spending it on him now that they’ve already signed Lewis, too.

Danny Rose isn’t in the plans for Spurs this season after spending time on loan with the Magpies. Instead of a move to Serie A, perhaps he could return to Tyneside. Another loanee from last season, Jetro Willems made a big impression with the Toon Army, but he is still working his way back from an ACL injury.

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Steve Bruce will hope that Lewis can stay healthy and not require much rotation at the position because there are not many options on the roster to provide relief at left-back for Newcastle United.