Speaking to the Shields Gazette, Rafa Benitez has admitted that of all the 12 summer signings he made last year, Matt Ritchie stood out to be the player most eager to arrive at St James’ Park.
Ritchie, who made the 300 mile move from Bournemouth to Newcastle over the summer, has been an inspired signing by Benitez, offering the determination and energy needed at this level, contributing an impressive 10 league goals and 7 assists to boot.
Given the passion and commitment he demonstrates, this revelation is not hard to believe, with Rafa saying the following when speaking to the Shields Gazette:
“Out of all the players we were talking about, he was the most clear that he wanted to come here,”
“For him, Newcastle was a massive club in a massive city, and he was talking about the fans and the stadium. From day one, he was very excited about the move. Clearly, he wanted to come.”
“That passion can be seen in every game,”
Ritchie gave up Premier League football with Bournemouth to make the move North, so it really is refreshing to see a player so excited to sign for our beloved club, despite its second tier status. This attitude is no doubt adored by the fans, unlike Andros Townsend, who felt unable to sacrifice top flight football for the club.
Ritchie’s performances and efforts on the pitch speak volumes, as the Scottish winger has taken his big move to Tyneside in his stride.
Long may it last that Newcastle attract this type of player to the club, with players like Ritchie signing for all the right reasons, offering the character and desire we have so often lacked over recent years.