Monday, 12 January 2015

Ritchie signing is a good deal all round

I arrived at the Goldsands stadium on Saturday to hear news that Matt Ritchie had signed a new three and a half year  contract with AFC Bournemouth. Having been the subject of much media attention in the last week as a potential target for Fulham in this January window, Matt and AFCB had decided that they wanted to clear up any doubts about the winger's future.

Matt before the Norwich game.
Matt is they type of player that AFCB should be trying to tie-up on a long term deal as he has delivered over the last few years and is young enough to reach a higher level. The ambition he has was much in evidence from the comments he made about his decision to sign a new contract at this point of time.

"I'm delighted. I've loved my time here. I think everything around the place is positive... I love the lads, I love the staff, I love working with the Gaffer and everything is right," said Matt. "I'm from the south and it's perfect. The clubs in a good place and hopefully we have a good chance to get the the Premier League. 

"I don't want to speak too soon, but with the group of players we have and the mentality we have throughout the group, this could be a really big year and hopefully I can be a part of it."

Matt was sure of the direction he wanted to go in next."To establish myself as a Premier League player is a dream and if I can do it with this group of players and with this club it would be special."

A few more of goal like these will be great to see.

I believe Matt always wanted to stay part of this group of players that have improved so much under Eddie Howe and Jason Tindall. Matt has been one of the main reasons why the club sits on top of the Championship and it is perhaps the biggest signature we will see at AFCB this January. To lose one player of Matt's quality would have sent the wrong message out to other clubs that the Cherries are open to offers on their best players, and by signing Ritchie up on improved terms it tells players looking to come to the club that they will be well rewarded if they do well. Scoring against Norwich as well was not a bad way of celebrating his new contract even if the result did not go AFCB's way.

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