Newcastle United wide-man Matt Ritchie may have to leave the club in January in search of Premier League football.
That is the opinion of journalist Pete O’Rourke, who was speaking to This is Futbol about the latest news from St. James’ Park ahead of the January transfer window.
According to Football Insider, Newcastle are prepared to let Ritchie leave the club for a cut-price fee in January, with manager Eddie Howe giving his approval on a potential departure.
Meanwhile, according to journalist Dean Jones in an interview with GIVEMESPORT, the 33-year-old has potential interest from MLS clubs after being informed that he can leave the club in the new year.
And O’Rourke believes that Ritchie will have to leave Newcastle this winter in order to get regular minutes of first-team football somewhere else.
“He’s at that stage of his career that he would want to be playing regular first team football.
“It would look likely that he might have to move on in January or the summer at least, because he’s not going to be getting many minutes at Newcastle in the foreseeable future.”
TIF Thoughts on O’Rourke’s comments…
We agree with O’Rourke and think that for the final stages of Ritchie’s career, he’d be much better served playing week in week out, rather than playing an extremely limited role for Newcastle this season.
However, his influence in the dressing room has been described as ‘priceless’, so perhaps he’d be a bigger loss than people think, although, his own career is more important at his age.
The 16-time Scotland international has made just two appearances for the Magpies this campaign, one of which was as a late substitute in the side’s 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers in August, suggesting that there really is no future for his playing career at St. James’ Park.
Therefore, we think the best option for Ritchie would be to leave the Tyneside club after six years in the North East, and explore a new opportunity somewhere else in the latter days of his playing career.