Sean Longstaff admitted the summer speculation regarding Manchester United’s alleged interest was a distraction for him, when speaking to the Newcastle United official website.
And he went on to say Matt Ritchie is the person he leans on at the club, and he was the person to give him advice on how to deal with the situation, and what he could do to get past it.
Fans have long-known Ritchie’s influence for Newcastle on the pitch, but Longstaff’s comments highlight just how important he is off it too.
To have a senior figure that a young player can turn to for honest advice is crucial for them and their development, and it shows the high regard Ritchie is held in by others at the club.
It is also testament to the former Bournemouth winger, that he takes the time to offer words of wisdom to his less experienced teammates, and they will know they can speak to him when they have any concerns.
These are the parts of being a professional footballer that we, on the outside, do not see.
Matt Ritchie is the ultimate professional
He epitomises what it means to be a role-model – not just for young fans, but also the younger players within the club too.
Regardless of what people say about the ability of the players, knowing that we have characters like Ritchie around the club, shows there are some good things happening.
These traits Ritchie has cannot be bought with a transfer fee, they are just part of the person that he is, and why Newcastle would do well to make sure that he is offered a new deal to stay at the club.
Football nowadays is about so much more than just what happens on the pitch for 90 minutes, and it is why players like Matt Ritchie are worth their weight in gold.