By Dominic Toner
Matt Ritchie revealed that it was impossible for him to turn down a move to Newcastle due to the size of the club.
Midfielder Ritchie, who moved to Newcastle in a reported £10million deal and signed a five-year contract, has also pointed out that manager Rafa Benitez was a major reason for his move from Bournemouth.
He told The Shields Gazette: “I loved my time at Bournemouth, it was very successful. But when a club like Newcastle comes calling, with the position it has and the manager, it was always going to be a difficult one to turn down.”
“(Benitez) He’s a massive draw. He’s won just about everything there is to win in football and I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
Ritchie made just shy of 150 appearances in all competitions during his two spells with the club and leaves behind a Bournemouth side who finished five points above safety last season.
Unlike his new club Newcastle, who were relegated to the Championship despite a small revival under Benitez during the back end of the season.
Ritchie remains confident that the current Newcastle squad are capable of a first-time promotion despite the competitive nature of the Championship.
The winger was an integral part in Bournemouth’s promotion from England’s second-tier in 2014-15 and should provide his new side the experience in mounting a promotion push.
His performances in the last two season did not go unnoticed, as he was called up to the Scottish national side in March 2015 and has scored three times already for his country.
Former Crystal Palace forward Dwight Gayle has also joined Benitez and they look set to wrap up another signing as a defender is set to undergo a medical.
In other Newcastle news, European giants are preparing a big-money move for this 26-year-old ace.