No new faces arrived at Portsmouth today, meaning the main talking point has been the current situation regarding Ritchie's status at his boyhood club. This is due to a couple of issues, though mainly it seems there is a problem with contract negotiations.
Ritchie's contract expires at the end of the season and although Portsmouth have offered him a new one, it has not been accepted because of financial implications.
My guess is that Ritchie (and/or his agent) don't believe that he would receive the salary that he is worth, yet Steve Cotterill (and/or the board) don't believe that a player who cannot break into the first team should be anywhere near the top earners at the club.
I'd be disappointed if we were to lose a local lad who has potential because of our money situation. It's frustrating that the state of the club means that we can't really focus on the future, but simply have to work on the "here-and-now", which has been a philosophy at this club for far too long now and really needs to change.
I think Ritchie could become a very good player at Championship level once he has the experience. It's a shame that he feels he needs regular football at his age because right now he would be a very useful squad player.
If Utaka were to be injured, we would have no left sided player to replace him and even if he was fit, there is no harm of having a player who is quick and able to deliver a good ball into the box on the bench.
Letting a promising youngster go could really harm the club in the future, especially as Utaka isn't expected to stick around for too much longer.
as a local lad Ritchie is always going to have the backing of the Pompey fans and won't be under so much pressure to get things right immediately. So, as long as his wage demands aren't too heavy, I can't see any reason why he should be released to Swindon permanently.
I hope short-sighted Steve and the board aren't just about to make a huge mistake.