Newcastle offloading 29-year-old speedster to Stoke City would be nothing but a transfer blunder by Rafa Benitez

Newcastle United opinion: Should the Magpies sell Matt Ritchie?

According to a report from The Sun, Newcastle United winger, Matt Ritchie is a target for Championship side Stoke City in the upcoming summer transfer window. The 29-year-old has had a decent campaign with the Magpies so far and Stoke City are keen to make a move for him in the summer.

Stoke boss Nathan Jones has been monitoring Ritchie’s situation closely according to the report and he reckons that the Scot would be an important part of a potential Championship promotion bid next season.

Stoke have had a dismal season in the Championship, where they finished 16th this season. However, Jones is expected to get a decent budget for the transfer window and he could use that to lure Matt Ritchie to the Bet 365 stadium before the start of next season.

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However, Ritchie is under contract with the Toons until the summer of 2021 and Newcastle have no real reason to offload him in the summer. Ritchie has been a consistent performer under Rafa Benitez this season, having started all but three games in the Premier League this season.

The former Bournemouth man has been directly involved in 8 goals so far but his return has been due to the fact that Benitez has moved him into a left wing-back role for the majority of the campaign.

Paul Dummett’s injury early in the season forced the Magpies boss to use Ritchie instead of the Scotsman’s preferred right-wing position.

Ritchie despite the change, has performed brilliantly, so much so, that he has continued to play there even after Dummett’s return.

If Newcastle sign a full-back in the upcoming transfer window, Ritchie will have a chance to return to his attacking role, where he is a dangerous customer for any team to deal with.

The 29-year-old, on his day, is capable of winning games on his own for his side and selling him would be a huge mistake in the summer.

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Ritchie’s goals, assists and work rate would play an important role in Newcastle’s campaign next season and losing him could hinder their chances of improvement from this term’s potential 14th-place finish.

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Conclusion

Selling Matt Ritchie in the summer makes no sense, considering how valuable he has been to the Magpies this season.

His attacking prowess combined with his versatility will be an important asset for Newcastle next season and they should reject Stoke’s approach without any second thoughts.

Written by Shamanth Jayaram

24-year old Electrical engineer turned football writer, born and brought up in Bangalore.

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