Only three players have created more chances in the Premier League than Matt Ritchie this season.

The Newcastle man has had a tough start to the campaign, playing as a left wing-back for Steve Bruce’s side.

He’s struggled defensively, particularly in the season opener against West Ham.

However, the stats suggest that he’s doing his bit offensively.

Newcastle United v West Ham United - Premier League
(Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

After the first four games, only three players have created more chances than Ritchie.

The 32-year-old has created 12 chances so far, the same amount as Wolves’ Raul Jimenez.

The pair are joint fourth behind Mo Salah (13), Jack Grealish (13) and Trent Alexander-Arnold (20).

It’s an impressive feat from Ritchie, who sits ahead of Paul Pogba (10) in the rankings.

 

However, while Pogba has got an incredible seven assists so far, Ritchie only has one. That came against West Ham, providing the cross for Jacob Murphy’s header.

Out of the 12 chances created by Ritchie, six of them have came from set pieces. He still has excellent delivery, and we need to take advantage of it.

Once again, our inability to convert chances is costing us, especially without Callum Wilson.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

We created multiple openings against Manchester United, but were unable to capitalise.

While Ritchie needs to improve defensively, he is certainly proving his worth going forwards. He is always trying to get the ball in the box, and it worked to great effect last season when he returned to the starting XI.

The current system may have its flaws, but it does play to some people’s strengths. Ritchie is one of them, and we need to start taking advantage of the chances he’s creating.

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