Some more insightful quotes have emerged from Mo Diame’s in-depth interview with The Chronicle this week.
In this, he talks openly about his former Newcastle United teammates 18 months on from his reluctant release.
The Senegalese powerhouse admits that Isaac Hayden finished first in every fitness drill, describes Jonjo Shelvey as one of the best players he’s ever played with, calls Matt Ritchie “crazy” and talks about Sean Longstaff’s huge potential – believing he can become the “Frank Lampard or Steve Gerard of Newcastle”.
Here’s what the 33-year-old’s had to say about all of the above, starting with his amusing assessment of Matt Ritchie:
“Matt Ritchie is a top guy but he is crazy!”
“I was with him at Hull as well. He’s a hard worker. Every time there is running at training, he is always first.
“If there is one thing you can be sure of, it’s that he will always give you everything.
“Hopefully, he can continue and help the team achieve their target.”
“For me, he’s one of the best players I played with. I told him and he knows that with his quality and his passing.
“I really think he should have played longer at Liverpool. He’s a top man and a top-class player.
“When he wants to dictate the game, it’s difficult to stop him.”
“He has a lot of potential. He had a really good start when I was there and, of course, needs to keep working. I also spoke to him before I left.
“I really had the feeling that he can become the Frank Lampard or Steven Gerrard of Newcastle as the guy who can make Newcastle fans proud.
“I really hope he will keep working and be a young player who listens to the older lads.
“He has a good example like Jonjo in the club so he can learn from him and keep working hard and be a top player.”