Football Insider verdict
Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie would be mad to seek a move away from the club this summer, especially to a Championship club.
With a recent media report from The Chronicle linking Ritchie with Stoke City, Middlesbrough and Bournemouth, it simply doesn’t make sense for the 28-year-old to leave St. James Park.
A move back to his former club Bournemouth, who he left to join current club Newcastle in 2016, would be the only option with a rational thought behind it, you would be able to understand his reasoning for wanting to go back and play for a manager who developed you as a player.
But considering the amount of surprise over his last move, when he swapped mid-table security in the Premier League with the Cherries for a Championship title battle with the Toon, it would be ridiculous to give the guarantee of top-tier football away once again when he’s worked so hard to achieve playing at this level.
The Scotland international was enhancing his reputation with Bournemouth with every game he played, showing his goal-scoring and assist-making qualities on a regular basis. The move to Rafael Benitez’s side was a shock at the time, but because of their quick promotion and the fact they’re a bigger club, you can understand why he made the decision looking back.
But if he was to leave the North-West this summer, for either Middlesbrough or Stoke City, you would have to ask some serious questions about the Scot’s motivations. Is it money? Is it the challenge? He was a regular in the Premier League last season, making 35 appearances and is a real crowd favourite with the Toon supporters.
It really would be madness to swap that for another spell in the Championship, Matt Ritchie is too good a player to do that.
In other Newcastle United news, the club have made a bid for a Juventus and Italian international midfielder.