Should Newcastle consider Matt Ritchie axe unless goals improve?

Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on December 2, 2017 in London, England.

Matt Ritchie can't afford to rest on his laurels despite huge goal for Newcastle United.

Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United in action during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Brighton and Hove Albion at St. James Park on December 30, 2017 in Newcastle upon...

Newcastle United fans won't entertain the prospect of seeing Matt Ritchie being sold this summer.

After all, the former Bournemouth winger scored the goal which might be a watershed moment for the relegation-threatened Magpies, who humbled Manchester United this past Sunday.

But when the smoke clears, Rafael Benitez needs to remember that it was his £12 million winger's first Premier League goal of the season and offloading him this summer should be considered unless his output improves.

Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United at the final whistle during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on February 10, 2018 in Newcastle...

Simply put, one goal in 25 Premier League games is a dreadful return for an attacking player and although he has five assists, it's still not enough to earn him another season at St James's Park.

Ritchie bought his team three points at the weekend but he has also bought himself time to turn things around. Failure to do so could and probably should result in him being sold during the summer.

Rafael Benitez, Manager of Newcastle United speaks with Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and AFC Bournemouth at St. James Park on...

Plenty of Championship clubs will be interested, considering he has scored 27 goals during his last two seasons in England's tier for United and Bournemouth, but he hasn't done the business on his return to the top flight and unless his goals pick up, the Spanish manager should seriously consider axing him.

Fans of the Tyneside club will argue that his goal might lead to Newcastle's salvation this season, but maybe Benitez's side wouldn't have been in need of saving had a more productive winger been available in the first place.

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