Matt Ritchie describes it as ‘an unbelievable feeling to come to a football club like this’.
The Bournemouth winger now officially a Newcastle United player after the two clubs confirmed the deal.
Following the deals for Matz Sels and Dwight Gayle, Newcastle have sealed three signings in 48 hours.
Isn’t it just great when you have a manager who you can respect and believe when he speaks, considering what we have put up with over the last five years of Pardew, Carver and McClaren.
Only last week Rafa Benitez telling us:
“We have three or four things ready, it is just that we have to start with the first one and we have two or three (transfers) that I think we can do in one week. But we can say nothing because the person that is responsible in this team is away.”
If Rafa can add a couple more before the squad head off to Ireland in a week’s time, the preparations for the new season will be flying.
Official Newcastle United statement:
‘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.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling to come to a football club like this,” said Ritchie.
“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: “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 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.”