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Newcastle: Matt Ritchie expected to leave

Newcastle: Matt Ritchie expected to leave -Newcastle United News

Newcastle United journalist George Caulkin thinks Matt Ritchie will depart the club this summer. 

The lowdown

Newcastle paid £10.8million to sign Ritchie from Eddie Howe’s Bournemouth ahead of the 2016/17 season while Rafael Benitez was manager, and he helped them win promotion back to the Premier League in his first season.

In all, Ritchie has made 187 appearances for the club, scoring 24 goals and providing 33 assists.

He was an unused substitute for Monday night’s 2-0 victory over Arsenal, and that’s become a regular occurrence for the 32-year-old.

Ritchie has watched the full 90 minutes from the bench in ten of the last 11 league fixtures.

It looks as if his last outing at St James’ Park, as a Newcastle player at least, will prove to be the 4-0 defeat against Manchester City back in December.

The latest

Caulkin addressed Ritchie’s future on The Athletic’s matchday discussion board on Monday night.

While the Scot still ‘has another year left on his contract’, the journalist would ‘expect him to go’ when the transfer window opens.

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The verdict

There will no doubt be some Newcastle supporters who are sad to see Ritchie go.

He’s been a useful player to have in the squad because of his immense versatility, operating as both a full-back and a winger on each side.

And he also seems to be an important figure in the dressing room, with Chronicle Live journalist Sean McCormick noting his ‘drive, leadership and vocal presence’ and Alex McLeish branding him a ‘real warrior’.

The £45,000-per-week man possesses ‘quality… in abundance’ too, with Jamie Carragher claiming ‘he was the best player in the Championship when Newcastle came up’.

He deserves credit for his key contributions on Tyneside.

In other news, Eddie Howe wants this goalkeeper.

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