Newcastle United have confirmed their second major signing of the day, with Scotland international winger Matt Ritchie completing his anticipated move from Bournemouth following the earlier arrival of Dwight Gayle from Crystal Palace.
Ritchie, who scored arguably one of the goals of the Premier League last season with a stunning volley against Sunderland, has signed a five-year contract that will keep him at St James’ Park until 2021.
The fee is thought to be in the region of £12m and it seems that the Magpies are well equipping themselves for an assault on the Championship after Belgian goalkeeper Matz Sels joined on Thursday.
Speaking to NUFC.co.uk, Ritchie described the feeling of signing a club like Newcastle as “unbelievable”.
He added, “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.”
Ritchie was a star of Bournemouth’s Championship promotion winning campaign in 2014/15, scoring 15 goals from a wide position as the Cherries won the division to earn a place in the top flight for the first time in their history.
It appears that previous record is one of the things that turned the Magpies onto him.
“We have been following some wingers for a while and Matt was one of the best prospects for this team,” Newcastle boss Rafa Benitez said.
“He has great ability and pace, and as soon as we knew that Andros Townsend could be leaving, our priority was to finalise 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.”
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