Journalist Keith Downie has highlighted that Matt Ritchie could be one of the players to leave Newcastle United in the summer.
Ritchie has been heavily out of favour this season in the Premier League for Newcastle, making 18 appearances in the league, while in 10 out of the last 12 games for Newcastle, he was an unused substitute.
The Scottish defender signed for Newcastle from Bournemouth in 2016 and has made 188 appearances in all competitions since. It is only in the last few seasons that his game time has been limited, as he has featured 18 times in each of the last three league campaigns.
With the lack of game time for Ritchie this season, Downie has highlighted to GiveMeSport that he could be one of five players who might be shown the door in the upcoming window.
Assessing the futures of Ritchie, Ciaran Clark, Karl Darlow, Isaac Hayden and Dwight Gayle, he said: “They’ve been great servants to the club, but I do think, like any club, they need to move on. And I would expect most or all of those guys to leave in the summer.”
Is it time for Ritchie to move on?
TIF Thoughts on Downie’s comments…
Ritchie featured regularly in the first half of the season but was in poor form for Newcastle in the Premier League, as he was ranked 20th in terms of average player rating (6.67), 16th for number of tackles per game (1.2) and 13th in interceptions per game (0.7), as per SofaScore.
Matt Targett was introduced at St James’ Park in January as the mainstay left-back, and was perhaps an indication that Ritchie had fallen out of favour under Eddie Howe, with the Scotsman going on to feature just two times after Christmas.
With the takeover and the lack of involvement for Ritchie this season, this could certainly be a sign that he will either be told to move on in the summer or that he will become nothing more than a second-choice left-back at best.