According to the Sun, Stoke City are considering a summer move for Matt Ritchie.
The 29-year-old’s future has been a topic of debate lately for Toon fans, but the overall feeling is that he should remain on Tyneside.
Ritchie has had another impressive season, being converted into a left wing-back by Rafa Benitez. The former Bournemouth man has adapted brilliantly, and has looked solid in his new defensive role.
He moved to Newcastle in 2016 ahead of our season in the Championship. Ritchie’s arrival was key for Benitez, as he stepped down from the Premier League to play under an illustrious manager for a famous club.
It was a good decision in the end. Newcastle achieved promotion in a season where Ritchie was one of our best players.
He hasn’t been as influential in the Premier League due to his lack of pace. However, his desire and fight is still a quality we need.
But this is the second summer in a row where he has been linked with a move away from Newcastle.
Stoke wanted Ritchie last year as well
The Potters were relegated to the Championship in 2018, and threw money at players in an attempt to go straight back up.
One of the players they apparently wanted to sign was Ritchie. In June 2018, the Telegraph reported that Stoke and Middlesbrough were interested in the Scotland international, who was valued at £15million at the time.
Of course, Stoke were unable to get their man and have also been unsuccessful in their attempts to win promotion.
They’ll be in the Championship again next season, and the Sun report that manager Graeme Jones is interested in a move for Ritchie, should he become available.
Fingers crossed that is where it ends. Ritchie should not be available. He’s too important.