‘I’ve got unfinished business’: what Newcastle and former Portsmouth, Swindon and AFC Bournemouth star has said about Blues return after Fratton Park sighting
And calls for a Fratton Park homecoming were once again heard by supporters, after he was in attendance for the club’s defeat to Charlton on Monday.
It’s not the first time Ritchie has returned to watch his boyhood club in the flesh.
After progressing through the Blues youth ranks, Ritchie was handed his debut by Avram Grant in a 0-0 draw with Wigan in 2010 – shortly after Premier League relegation had been confirmed.
He went on to make nine more appearances, before being sold by Steve Cotterill to Swindon a year later.
The current Newcastle man still has 18 months remaining on his deal at St James’ Park
However, this hasn’t stopped him from imagining a return to the south coast before he hangs up his boots.
‘I feel I’ve got a good five to seven years in the locker still and I’ve just signed a new contract with Newcastle, where I’m really enjoying my time.
‘But in my head my next challenge is definitely to play for Portsmouth again - and have an impact.
‘I’ve really got a burning ambition to have some sort of success at Portsmouth. Whether that’s in three, four or five years, who knows?
‘But certainly for me I want to play - and I want to go back there and make an impact.
‘I don’t want to come back and do one of those where I’m finished and my legs have gone.
‘That’s not how I want to do it. I want to come back, offer something and have an impact.
‘I want to be part of a success story at Portsmouth, for sure.
‘My goal now is to come back to Portsmouth at some stage, have an impact and success. It would be great to take the club back to where it deserves to be.
‘When I left the club it was on a downward spiral, so I would like to play a part in getting the club to the next level and be part of something special in helping them to the Premier League.’
There have been no links with Ritchie returning to Pompey yet, with his focus on helping the Magpies secure Premier League safety.
But with the Saudi-backed revolution of Newcastle, it may be time to move on so – and if not Ritchie’s a free agent in 2023.
Let’s see if and when that emotional reunion takes place...
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