Why Matt Ritchie must reject Stoke City’s 4m-a-year offer and stay put at Newcastle
Newcastle United enjoyed an impressive return to the Premier League under Rafael Benitez, which saw the club finish 10th in the table, just three points behind Leicester City. The Magpies didn’t really have the best of starts to their season but certainly ended it in style with a 3-0 win against Chelsea at St.James’ Park.
Newcastle were defensively rigid and offensively sound under Benitez. The former Liverpool manager is known for his tactical prowess and he worked it magnificently with the Magpies.
He will now be aiming to build on the previous campaign and taking Newcastle to bigger heights this season. In order to do so, the club are going to have to hold onto their best players and make new additions to bolster the squad.
Newcastle winger Matt Ritchie is being offered a staggering £4million-a-year to join Stoke City. The Potters are reportedly interested in prizing away the Magpies midfielder for a reported fee of around £15million.
The Potters are on the brink of signing the former Bournemouth midfielder, who Rafa Benitez finds as surplus to the requirements. But should the manager really sell the Scotland international?
The 28-year-old joined Newcastle United from the Cherries in 2016 and has gone on to make a total of 77 appearances for the club. Ritchie generally operates as a winger for the Magpies but is capable of playing in a number of roles, such is his versatility.
He was often deployed in a wing-back role under former manager Eddie Howe at Bournemouth. Ritchie can also play as a central attacking midfielder, which makes him a very valuable player.
The former Cherries winger made a total of 32 league appearances for Newcastle United last season, scoring 3 goals and providing 5 assists. He was a peripheral figure for the Magpies throughout the season. Ritchie has a gem of a left foot, which is capable of producing thunderous shots.
He is also an excellent crosser of the ball, with his set-piece ability often giving the opposition defenders a torrid time at the back. He averaged a pass success rate of 72.5% last season, at an average of 1.2 crosses per game. The Scotland international is a huge influence for the Magpies in the attack.
Rafa Benitez should undoubtedly hold onto Matt Ritchie, who is definitely one of the best players in his squad. Ritchie is the kind of player that brings a new dimension to the team.
His absence will be sorely felt if the player does make the move. There’s no doubt the former Liverpool manager is going to need him next season.