By Will Butcher

Newcastle’s £12million playmaker Matt Ritchie has won the club’s player of the month award for August after some fine displays for his new club.

The former Bournemouth attacker played in all five of the Toon’s August league games this season, as Rafa Benitez’s side continue their streak of five Championship wins on the bounce.

The Magpies revealed the surprising news via their official website, after Ritchie was picked over star striker Dwight Gayle who also hit the ground running with four goals in five games in August.

Ritchie made the interesting decision to drop down a division to join the Toon from ambitious Premier League side Bournemouth, after an impressive first season that saw him star in the Cherries’ successful fight against relegation.

The decision to give the former Swindon Town man the award is an interesting one though, as fans could argue that former Crystal Palace striker Gayle was more deserving of the title with his impressive goal-to-game ratio.

Gayle found the back of the net four times in a side that began the season in dismal form, losing to both Huddersfield and Fulham.

However, 15 points from 15 has catapulted the Magpies to second in the league and a win against Wolves at St. James’ Park tomorrow could see them leapfrog early pace-setters Huddersfield into the top spot.

In other Newcastle news, this Serie A playmaker could be on his way to the Toon in January.