With just 16 caps for Scotland, Matt Ritchie has called time on his international career, with former teammate Alan Hutton lifting the lid on the potential reasoning behind his decision.
The former Bournemouth winger, as per the Daily Mail, confirmed he was hanging up his Scotland boots, potentially to focus on his club form with Newcastle – with Ritchie so far having been out of action for most of this season.
Ritchie could find it difficult to break into this Magpies side with the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron current first-team regulars – but ex-Aston Villa defender Alan Hutton has revealed that his decision to retire from international football could stem from other reasons.
Speaking to Football Insider, the former Scotland full-back went into great detail over Ritchie’s decision, citing ‘feeling unloved’ on international duty as a possible reason.
“He obviously feels he’s a bit unloved when he goes up there, he doesn’t play all the time. Maybe he feels he can offer more but he feels he’s not getting the chance,” explained the pundit.
“When you get to a certain age, then you start thinking: ‘What am I going to put forward? I’ve got my family here, I’ve got Scotland there, I’m not really playing there so I’d rather use the days for X, Y and Z.’
“I did the same thing so I’m not going to sit here and say he made the wrong decision but I think when you start to get to that age, that’s the way you start thinking.”
Indeed, with Ritchie playing in England and never actually having plied his trade north of the border in the SPFL, it could be a case of priorities – with the winger coming back from injury ahead of an uphill task to battle his way back into contention under Steve Bruce.
Should Newcastle sign Jetro Willems permanently?
Newcastle fans, could Ritchie be more effective now his international career is over? Let us know your thoughts!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience