Matt Ritchie is set to make it three signings for Rafa Benitez this week.
Matz Sels completed yesterday, with Dwight Gayle taking his medical on Wednesday afternoon and expected to be announced today.
Whilst the overwhelming feeling on Tyneside is that Matt Ritchie’s potential arrival was totally wrapped up in whether or not Andros Townsend leaves, regardless of the England winger’s situation the Bournemouth winger is expected on Tyneside on Thursday.
The Chronicle say that their information is that talks were successful yesterday and Matt Ritchie is scheduled to follow Dwight Gayle by flying into Newcastle for a medical today.
If Andros Townsend is to leave – and surely we must assume that is the case if Newcastle are set to sign Ritchie, then Rafa is picking up a player who should certainly soften the blow.
In two seasons for Bournemouth in the Championship, Matt Ritchie had a phenomenal record.
In 72 Championship starts plus four as sub, the Scottish winger was involved in 45 goals.
Whilst he understandably found the Premier League a tougher proposition, especially as Bournemouth struggled as a team later in the season, Ritchie still managed four goals and six assists last season.
However, in the Championship over the two seasons he managed 24 goals and 21 assists.
2015/16 4 goals & 6 assists
2014/15 15 goals & 18 assists
2013/14 9 goals & 3 assists
It would obviously be a massive coup if Rafa Benitez managed to sign Matt Ritchie AND convinced Andros Townsend to stay, having the two most creative players in the Championship working in tandem would surely blow the opposition away.
After so long without a player (since Hatem Ben Arfa was marginalised at NUFC) who could take on his opponent, it was so refreshing to see Townsend doing that so successfully in the second half of last season.