End of the line for Matty?
It seems like we have been here before, although this time it really does 'seem' like it is the end of the line for Matty Ritchie...
With his contract ending at the end of the season, and the signing of a new one offered to him 'unlikely' due to a 'contract wrangle' - whatever this is, apparently not wages - the chances of him being sold in the New Year have increased.
Although to be honest I am not really surprised and have almost been expecting this for a while.
For me 'if' Ritchie was in Steve Cotterill's thoughts this season I cannot see he would have given him permission to play for Swindon in the FA cup, the fact that he was allowed - and he scored, when they beat Plymouth 4-0 I think it was - spoke volumes to me that his days with Pompey were numbered.
Yep, I would concede that the guy is still rough around the edges but he is by no means the finished article and I am sure with some polishing and buffering we could have seen a diamond, maybe not of the highest of quality but of a more than acceptable one...
But, hey ho players come and go I guess, I think I am more disappointed because he is:
A - a local lad and would walk over hot coals to pull on the shirt.
B - one of our own products of the youth team, which 'seems' to be increasingly overlooked and bit by bit being dismantled when this SHOULD be our lifeblood for the future, at least it needs to be!
On the flip side I am sure that Matty has become quite accustomed to playing regular 1st team football.
So, with Swindon being so keen to keep hold of him is it any wonder - even with his desire to play for his hometown club as much as he does - that the option of accepting an offer would be taken, for that regular football he craves.
There is also the small matter of a striker at Swindon, Charlie Austin.
'If' Cotterill can persuade the owners to release him some funds in the New Year then Ritchie could make a bargaining chip that I suspect the club would sacrifice in order to try and sweeten a deal.
We will see what happens, but it is looking increasingly like time has been called on Matty's Pompey career...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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