Newcastle United appear to be looking to the future at present under their ambitious new ownership, with great strides already having been made since PIF walked in the door, as well as following the appointment of manager Eddie Howe.
The Magpies are currently in strong form having picked up 11 points from their opening eight league games in the early weeks of the new Premier League season, only slipping to one defeat thus far to suggest that a relegation scrap may not be on the agenda this time around.
One man who has been on the periphery of that recent resurgence is veteran dud, Matt Ritchie, with the former Bournemouth man seemingly unlikely to play a prominent role for the northeast side moving forward.
The 33-year-old has featured just once off the bench in the top-flight so far this term, with that solitary outing coming as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux, making a minute-long cameo against the Midlands side.
The former Scotland international – who arrived at St James’ Park on a £10m deal back in 2016 – made his only other appearance so far this term in the narrow League Cup triumph over Tranmere Rovers, lining up in a right-wing berth against the lower-league opponents.
While the 16-cap man’s versatility to feature both in an attacking role and at full-back has seen him take on a useful role in recent times, the recent investment at the club has only served to further shunt him down the pecking order, with a greater role likely to be hard to come by.
A reliable figure in his six-year stint at Newcastle – with a respectable haul of 24 goals and 33 assists in 190 games in all competitions to date – it does appear that the 5 foot 8 dud may well now have outstayed his welcome, with the ageing talent seemingly now stealing a living at the club such is his limited role.
That is evidenced by the fact that the one-time Swindon Town man is still raking in a rather hefty £45k-per-week salary, having now taken home £14m in total from his wages over the years, as per FBref.
That is a sizeable figure for a player whose best season came in his debut campaign – scoring 12 goals in the Championship in 2016/17 under Rafa Benitez – with Ritchie having rarely quite looked up to scratch at the top level.