Right now, all the talk coming out of the Vitality Stadium is about Callum Wilson and Ryan Fraser.
The Bournemouth duo have been in incredible form this season and have looked like real high-calibre players.
That, however, will not make supporters of the south coast club forget about one of their former stars and the role he has played in the Cherries’ amazing Premier League journey.
And that former star is, of course, Matt Ritchie, who was so instrumental in the season Bournemouth won promotion to English football’s top flight.
What a 2014/15 campaign the 29-year-old had in the Championship. Looking back at his numbers, they are just ridiculous.
On the Cherries’ way to winning the Championship crown, Ritchie scored 15 goals and recorded 17 assists, flourishing as the main creator of Eddie Howe’s side.
Understandably, Ritchie was unable to make the same sort of impact the following season, with Bournemouth making the step up to a much stronger division.
Still, the Scottish winger played his part in helping Bournemouth stay up before moving on to Newcastle United where he is now playing a very different role to what he is used to.
This term, under Rafael Benitez, Ritchie has been deployed as a left wing-back and has absolutely thrived there.
Speaking about his positional switch, the Scotland international told The Northern Echo: “I’ve got to be honest, I’m loving it. I feel like I get in better areas higher up the pitch with the ball.
“I’d say that one of my biggest strengths is my delivery, and I get in positions now to cross the ball.”
All things considered, Howe and Bournemouth have gotten on just fine without him.
That, though, does not make Ritchie any less of a player. At Newcastle, Benitez continues to get so much out of the former Bournemouth man, but in a much different way compared to Howe’s experience.
Bournemouth fans, what are some of your standout memories of Ritchie’s time at the Vitality Stadium? Join the discussion by commenting below.
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