Former AFC Bournemouth and now Newcastle United winger Matt Ritchie has thanked everyone at Dean Court following his £12million move.
During three and a half years with AFC Bournemouth following his £500,000 move from Swindon Town, he won promotion from League One in 2013 and played a key role in the club winning the Football League Championship in 2015.
He would go on to impress in the Premier League and break through into the full Scotland squad.
Overall he made 142 appearances for the Cherries scoring 31 times.
But following the Cherries maiden season in the top flight of English football, Ritchie was regularly linked with moves away from Dean Court.
West Ham United were rumoured to have made two approaches, but it was Newcastle United, just a few weeks removed from relegation from the Premier League who completed a transfer for Ritchie.
The 26 year old has signed a five year contract, reported to be around £55,000 a week.
Ritchie rejected an improved contract offer at Dean Court, reportedly set to make him one of the highest paid players in the clubs history to complete the move to the second tier side.
Speaking to BBC Radio Solent he added…
‘…I’m sure if the offer (of a new contract) had come at a different time, or if I’d come back from Scotland duty with no interest from other clubs, there would’ve been some sort of agreement…’
‘…I’ve got to thank everyone there (at AFC Bournemouth), I’ll probably never get memories like that again, certainly in the way we got promoted twice. I’ll cherish those and I certainly won’t forget them.
‘The manager and the lads were fantastic with me. I’ve become a better player since I first arrived there.’
Can’t help feeling that Ritchie has been linked with moves away for a while so I feel (viewing from afar) this was always a likely departure. As for the rest of the squad, a feeling of ‘in it together’ was an important factor in keeping the squad together and once the group breaks up this hold weakens. However can’t blame people for looking at big wages on offer given its a short career and with injury risk. – Join the conversation here.
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