Matt Ritchie explains why he does not see leaving Bournemouth for Newcastle United as a step down

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action

The winger swapped the Premier League for the Championship in a £12m deal earlier this month.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action

Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie has suggested to the Chronicle why his move to the club from Bournemouth should not be viewed as a step down despite the drop in divisions.

Ritchie joined the relegated Magpies in a £12 million deal at the start of the month to leave the Premier League Cherries after they secured survival in their first top-flight season.

Though the lure of joining a club like Newcastle is obvious to many, the Scotland international's move has been questioned by some as an unwise decision.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie in action

However, Ritchie himself is adamant that the Tyneside club will be back in the Premier league in 12 months' time, and he explained that the chance to be a part of that journey, as well as play under a manager like Rafael Benitez at a ground as big as St. James' Park, means that he made the right move in signing.

The winger told the Chronicle: "I see it [the Championship] as a temporary thing. The club is making no secret of the fact it wants to get back in the Premier League. I want to be a part of that.

Bournemouth's Matt Ritchie celebrates scoring their first goal

"It is a drop down as people have said but it wasn’t something that crossed my mind when I was thinking about what I wanted to do.

"I could have stayed at AFC Bournemouth, but as a move, the football club and the manager plus the future was a massive part of my decision."

Ritchie was a star in three-and-a-half years for Bournemouth, scoring 31 goals in 138 games including 15 strikes in 46 matches two years ago as the club won promotion from the Championship.

He will be hoping to replicate that kind of form with the same result for Newcastle this term as he aims to be a key figure in another promotion-winning season.

Matt Ritchie celebrates scoring the first goal for Bournemouth

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