According to a report in the Chronicle, Newcastle United are working on moving Matt Ritchie into a central role, if Jonjo Shelvey is missing.
Shelvey will appear in front of in independent disciplinary commission later this month, after it was claimed that he racially abusive language towards Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Romain Saiss (The Guardian).
Shelvey denies the claims, but if the charge stands the midfielder will be ruled out for five matches, as a minimum.
And the Chronicle claim that Newcastle are considering placing Ritchie into central-midfield to cover for Shelvey - if he is banned.
Ritchie has been played out wide so far, but Rafael Benitez believes the Scottish international has the ability to play a ball-playing role in the centre of the pitch.
Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie in action with Bristol City's Bobby Reid.
Shelvey is tasked with being the main creator in Newcastle’s teams, and he dictates the pace of the game.
The former Swansea City man has been in excellent form throughout the campaign to date, but Benitez is confident that he has enough cover to cope without him.
Ritchie has scored three goals and claimed five assists since moving to Newcastle from Bournemouth last summer.