Just come back from breakfast with one of my sons Paul and would you believe it – our second signing of the day and 26 year-old Matt Ritchie is now a Newcastle player.
That’s three players signed in the last three days and all good signings and more to come next week – hopefully a couple of very good defenders.
Matt Ritchie – third signing this week
Here’s some of what Newcastle put out about Matt on the web-site:
Newcastle United have completed their third summer signing with the arrival of winger Matt Ritchie from AFC Bournemouth.
The 26-year-old Scotland international has agreed a five-year deal at St. James’ Park, and follows goalkeeper Matz Sels and striker Dwight Gayle to Tyneside.
Ritchie spent three-and-a-half years at Bournemouth, making 142 appearances, scoring 31 goals and recording 29 assists.
He helped the Cherries lift the League One and Championship titles, as well as playing a key role in establishing Bournemouth in the Premier League last season.
Previously, Ritchie started his career at Portsmouth and spent time on loan at Dagenham & Redbridge, Notts County and Swindon Town, before joining the Robins permanently.
This is what Matt has said after signing:
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to come to a football club like this,”
“I loved it at Bournemouth – I had a fantastic time there and it had a huge impact on my career. But when a club like Newcastle comes calling, I couldn’t pass up this opportunity.”
“It’s fantastic to be here and I’m really looking forward to the challenge of getting the Club back in the Premier League.”
Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez said this after the signing:
“We have been following some wingers for a while and Matt was one of the best prospects for this team.”
“He has great ability and pace, and as soon as we knew that Andros Townsend could be leaving, our priority was to finalize this deal.”
“We have signed an exciting winger who has experience in the Championship but has also proved that he can step up to the top level. I am delighted that he is now part of our squad.”
So it looks like Rafa did bring in Matt for Andros Townsend, although both could have been used if Andros had decided to stay.
Matt is an excellent signing for Newcastle and we know Rafa can make him into an even better player than he is now.
Very good work by the club this week to get three players in by the first day of pre-season training.