Alan Hutton suggests that Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie was feeling a little unloved during his time with Scotland after reportedly retiring from international duty.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, the former Aston Villa and Scottish star, who played a number of times alongside Ritchie for the national side, says the Magpies’ ace is a brilliant player who probably had a lot more to offer Steve Clarke’s side.
As reported by the Daily Mail, Ritchie has called time on his international career for both personal and professional reasons, the 30-year-old said to have prioritised spending time with his family and ensuring he is fit and firing for Newcastle this season.
Having only played 16 times for Scotland, Hutton says that Ritchie could feel he should have featured more for his country and that he was underappreciated by the selectors.
Hutton told Football Insider: “I’ve obviously played alongside him, I think he’s a fantastic player. So much energy, willing runner, run through a brick wall for you and quality so I know what he can give.
“He obviously feels he’s a bit unloved when he goes up there, he doesn’t play all the time. Maybe he feels he can offer more but he feels he’s not getting the chance.
“When you get to a certain age, then you start thinking: ‘What am I going to put forward? I’ve got my family here, I’ve got Scotland there, I’m not really playing there so I’d rather use the days for X, Y and Z.’
“I did the same thing so I’m not going to sit here and say he made the wrong decision but I think when you start to get to that age, that’s the way you start thinking.”
Ritchie has struggled for game time at St James’ Park this season as a result of an injury setback, meaning Steve Bruce has only been able to call on him four times across all competitions.
He has a total of 129 appearances under his belt for the Magpies and a total of 113 Premier League matches to his name.
In other Newcastle United news, Danny Mills has delivered a fresh verdict on Miguel Almiron after being “abused” by fans for his previous comments.