Benitez: Ritchie has been playing too many games

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed that Matt Ritchie and Christian Atsu should be available to face Southampton when the international break is over.

Both men were withdrawn from their respective national teams after picking up knocks during the 1-1 draw with Liverpool last weekend.

Benitez stated that Ritchie was feeling the effects of fatigue after a rigorous run of games, while Atsu suffered a knee injury.

“Matt Ritchie has been playing too many games,” said Benitez, according to the Shields Gazette. “He was working very hard and has had a little bit of discomfort lately. 

“There have been a few little things he has been talking about with the doctor. It was better that we didn’t take a risk.”

On Atsu, Benitez added: “He has a little bit of discomfort in his knee and we have to manage it carefully.”

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