Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie should turn down reported interest from Stoke City

Newcastle United fans let off flares during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on May 12, 2019 in London, United Kingdom.

Newcastle United recorded a 4-0 win against Fulham on the last day of the Premier League season.

Matt Ritchie (R) shouts during the Newcastle United Training session at the Newcastle United Training Centre on May 08, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.

A big summer lies ahead for Newcastle United, both in terms of ingoings and outgoings at the club. The Toon Army faithful are eager for Rafa Benitez to stay and for Mike Ashley to show some serious ambition. 

Whilst most of the attention will be on who walks through the St James' Park doors when the transfer window re-opens, the club also need to be wary of who departs. 

The Sun recently claimed the Championship side Stoke City are planning an ambitious summer swoop for versatile attacker Matt Ritchie, who is not being offered a new deal by his current club. 

 

Throughout this Premier League campaign, Ritchie has been a key member of Benitez's side and one of the reasons as to why they maintained their status in England's top-flight this term. 

Despite being a natural winger, he has played out on the flanks, and for large parts, at left-back for the club, just like he did during Newcastle's 4-0 win at already-relegated Fulham where he registered two assists [transfermarkt].

Cyrus Christie of Fulham battles for possession with Matt Ritchie of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Fulham FC and Newcastle United at Craven Cottage on May 12,...

Given the fact that Ritchie has not played in a settled position this term, his attacking numbers are very respectable. In all competitions, he has played 39 games, scored three goals and supplied his teammates with nine assists [transfermarkt]

There is no doubt that he is good enough to play in the Premier League, and most importantly, he is still good enough to produce the goods for Newcastle. 

The Scotland international, 29, is at an age now where if he does opt to make the drop to the second tier of English football then it would be a mistake simply because of what he can still give to his current club and England's top-flight. 

Newcastle United's Matt Ritchie contests for the ball with Southampton's Nathan Redmond during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton at St. James's Park,...

Have something to tell us about this article?

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch