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Newcastle: Willems keen to impress in Ritchie’s absence

Newcastle: Willems keen to impress in Ritchie’s absence

Eintracht Frankfurt loanee Jetro Willems is keen to take the chance to impress Newcastle United handed to him by Matt Ritchie’s injury, as quoted by the Chronicle.

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Ritchie is expected to be out of action until October after suffering ankle damage in Newcastle’s Carabao Cup defeat at home to Leicester City in August, when Hamza Choudhury unleashed what Magpies boss Steve Bruce described as a ‘horror’ challenge on the 29-year-old.

Willems started Newcastle’s following fixture at home to Watford in the final Premier League encounter before the international break, and is assured that the pause in action came at the ideal moment for him.

The Dutchman’s temporary transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt came late into the summer window, and left the 25-year-old with no opportunity to return to his homeland and organise his belongings.

Rotterdam-born Willems also suffered a hamstring injury shortly into his Magpies career, but has now shaken off the blow and is raring to go.

“Personally, it has been a great time to get some rest,” Willems said, as he addressed the international break. “It has been chaotic for me [this summer].

“I came from training camp of Frankfurt and I could not go back to Holland and organise my things. Now I have had the opportunity to do that.

“Everything is ok [injury wise]. I have trained normally so everything is OK.”

He added: “I can play anywhere down the left-hand side. Now Matt Ritchie is injured, so I can show that I can play there.”

Willems had made his Newcastle debut initially in central midfield before Bruce decided to move the Dutchman out wide and draft Ritchie into the centre (Independent), but the initial mix-up led to Arsenal scoring what proved to be the winning goal of the curtain-raiser at St. James’ Park.

The Eintracht Frankfurt loanee’s outing at home to Watford last time out in the Premier League received a much more positive reaction from fans (via Read Newcastle) and the media (Chronicle), with some supporters describing the 22-cap man’s efforts in an attacking sense as being really impressive.

The local newspaper to Newcastle even suggested Willems’ strength down the left-flank and his deliveries into the box were worthy of their Man of the Match award.

Supporters will be hoping to now see the defensive side of Willems’ game come to the fore when the Magpies travel to Anfield on Saturday to face the current Premier League leaders Liverpool, who have scored 12 goals in four games – two shy of goal-happy Manchester City, but four-times as many as Newcastle.

Newcastle fans, are you confident Willems can contain Mohamed Salah? Let us know in the comments below…

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