News. Dummett and Ritchie to depart as five players reach end of contract

29 May 24

Newcastle United can announce that five first team players will be leaving the club on the expiration of their contracts this summer.

Departing the Magpies will be long-serving duo Paul Dummett and Matt Ritchie, who have made a combined 428 competitive appearances for the club.

Geordie defender Dummett is Newcastle United's longest-serving current player and will depart 23 years after first arriving at the club's Academy.

Officially joining aged nine years old, he emerged through the Magpies' youth system before making his senior debut in January 2013. He has since amassed 213 competitive appearances, scoring on four occasions, and has been a dependable presence in the first team squad for more than a decade.

Ritchie arrived at the club from AFC Bournemouth in July 2016 and, alongside Dummett, played a key role as Rafael Benítez's side won the 2016/17 Championship title before re-establishing itself back in the Premier League.

The Scotland international has appeared for Newcastle United on 215 occasions during eight years on Tyneside, and has scored 25 goals - the last of which was a vital injury-time equaliser against his former club Bournemouth in February 2024.

Also leaving United this summer are goalkeeper Loris Karius, defender Kell Watts and midfielder Jeff Hendrick.

Karius joined the Magpies in January 2023 and has made two competitive appearances for the first team, featuring in the 2023 Carabao Cup Final and most recently in a Premier League fixture at Arsenal in February.

Hendrick, meanwhile, moves on four years after joining as a free agent, having made 27 appearances and scored three goals before loan moves to QPR, Reading and Sheffield Wednesday.

Like Dummett, Academy graduate Watts brings a long association with Newcastle United to a close. The former Cramlington Juniors youngster first trained with United's Academy aged eight and he too emerged through the club’s talent pathway before making his Premier League debut in 2020.

The 24-year-old has now amassed 100 appearances in the EFL during spells on loan with Stevenage, Mansfield Town, Plymouth Argyle, Wigan Athletic and Peterborough United.

'A huge thank you'

Newcastle United head coach Eddie Howe said: "I'd like to say a huge thank you to each of the players leaving the club this summer. They have all given so much to the cause in their own ways, and I know our supporters will join me in wishing them every success with the next step in their careers.

"It's easy to judge players by appearances and goals, but the contribution made to the club by Paul and Matt in particular really has been immeasurable over many years. They have had a huge influence on our progress as a team and as a club.

"They have been incredible people and players to work with. Their dedication, professionalism and leadership in the dressing room during my time here has been first class, and they will bring undoubted quality and experience to their next clubs.

"It's also a significant moment for Kell, who has been with the club since he was eight. Kell is a top professional with an outstanding attitude, and his next club will be incredibly fortunate to have him.

"I wish the players and their families the very best for the future."

'Always welcome at St. James' Park'

Darren Eales, Newcastle United CEO, said: "On behalf of everyone at Newcastle United, I extend my sincere thanks to the players reaching the end of their contracts this summer.

"For Paul and Matt, so many years of consistent service as part of the first team squad is coming to an end and I want to pay tribute to them both for their immense contributions on and off the pitch.

"Paul is one of our Academy's great success stories. He is a shining example to young players in this region, and while Matt came to Newcastle through a different path, he will always be an adopted Geordie.

"Paul, Matt, Loris, Kell and Jeff have been consummate professionals during their time here, and I extend my very best wishes to each of them. They move on knowing they will always be welcome at St. James' Park."

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