As far as importance to this Newcastle United squad goes, the Magpies have Matt Ritchie right up there. The Scottish winger-slash-wing-back is an incredible team player and always gives 110% whenever he plays, and the latest reports from The Sun claim that the ex-Bournemouth man could be set to leave after having a request for a new deal rejected.
Matt Ritchie has been told he can leave #nufc this summer – after having his request for a new deal rejected. The Toon winger met Benitez for talks over his future last week. Benitez informed the Scotland international he would not be given new terms because of his age. [Sun]
— NUFC 360 (@NUFC360) April 16, 2019
Newcastle fans are all in agreement that this must be wrong. The Geordies are all absolutely loving the way that their side is going at the moment, beating Leicester City last Friday was a great result and Matt Ritchie was key to that win as he set up the only goal of the game with a sublime cross. If the rumours are true, the Scotsman could be leaving St James Park, and his exit could be devastating.
Rafa Benitez is the big one, and given the lack of certainty surrounding the talented gaffer, it seems crazy that he’s already having contract talks with some of his players. Even then, if he is to be sorting out the future of some of his stars, the fact that Ritchie is one he’s preparing to let go by not renewing his contract then something is very very wrong, and they’ll be hoping these reports are debunked very quickly.
You can read the Magpies’ thoughts on the Ritchie rumours here:
— Ed Lowe (@peaeye45) April 16, 2019
Doesn’t sound like something Rafa would say at all. Everyone knows he wants a mixture of youth and experience, if he stays
— Ashley Skelton (@SkeltonAsh) April 16, 2019
I've heard this same rumour every single window since we signed him.
£10 says he's still here in August.
— The Geordie Boot Boy #NUFC (@BootGeordie) April 16, 2019
Can you really imagine this conversation between Ritchie and Benitez happening before the end of the season? Rafa saying “you won’t get a new deal”
I don’t need any insider knowledge to know that didn’t happen
— Dell (@agbnufc) 16 April 2019
— Ryola (@Ryan_Mower) April 16, 2019
That's just stupid and again the club is going backwards. We need him just for the passion and the way he motivates the team if nothing else. This would be a big mistake in my eyes.
— steven jones (@towlawstev) April 17, 2019
Are we sure they don’t mean Diame?
I can’t see Rafa saying this about Ritchie. Even if he was too old for MA, he’d want to keep him at the very least until we secure better.
— Matthew (@JB4t00n) 16 April 2019
Disgusting if true
— Kev (@venison_barry) April 16, 2019
Whilst the majority of Geordies are writing this one off as rubbish, if it does happen to be true it’s an awful move by the club.