Aaron Stokes has been speaking about how Matt Ritchie could leave Newcastle United in January and drop down two divisions.
Ritchie was signed back in the summer of 2016 by Rafael Benitez to help guide the Magpies out of the Championship at the first time of asking, which they successfully did by winning the league title.
However, over recent times Ritchie has found himself shunned from the team, especially since Eddie Howe came to the club Ritchie has been afforded just four league starts, with both of them coming last campaign.
(41:55) “Matt Ritchie is another one, he’s currently doing his coaching badges alongside playing and I know he’s taken a few academy coaching sessions as he tries to get a bit of experience, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see him go.
Has Ritchie been a good signing for NUFC?
“I know there’s been talk of potentially going back to Portsmouth where he obviously started his youth career.”
TIF Thoughts on Ritchie’s future…
It would make sense for both Newcastle and Ritchie to go their separate ways in January as the club could still command a minimal fee for the winger, and he could play first-team football straight away.
Ritchie, who has been hailed as ‘immense’, could likely still play at a much higher level than League One, but given he’s already working on his coaching badges, it would suggest that he now has at least one eye on retiring in the near future.
It’s unlikely Eddie Howe would certainly not stand in the way of Ritchie wishing to pursue a new part of his career having been a terrific servant for the Magpies, even when he hasn’t played as the current boss claimed he was ‘integral‘ to the side despite featuring very rarely given the influence he must have within the squad and dressing room.