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Matt Ritchie deserves a Newcastle United farewell against Burnley

Newcastle United end their season against Burnley this afternoon, in what his set to be a huge game for the Clarets.

They’re still scrapping for survival, but will stay in the Premier League if Leeds fail to better their result.

All the pressure is on Burnley, while Eddie Howe’s side can relax and enjoy one last game before the summer break.

It’s been a remarkable campaign for Newcastle. It started with despair and almost certain relegation, but it ends with fresh hope and optimism.

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The takeover has changed everything, and in turn will lead to even more changes this summer. It’s the first summer transfer window for the new ownership, who made a big splash in January.

More incomings will arrive at St James’ Park, but that means multiple players will have to move on.

We’ve got multiple fringe players who’ve barely featured under Howe, despite once being a key player in black and white.

One of those players is Matt Ritchie, and he deserves a special sendoff at Turf Moor.

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Eddie Howe should give Matt Ritchie one final Newcastle appearance

The Magpies will reportedly listen to offers for various players this summer, including Ritchie. It feels inevitable that he will leave.

He’s 32 now, and hasn’t played a lot of football under the new manager. Ritchie has featured six times in the Premier League since Howe’s appointment. That includes just one appearance in 2022, where he appeared off the bench in the 3-0 win over Norwich.

But he’s remained an influential player. Sean Longstaff recently revealed Ritchie’s words of encouragement before the victory over Arsenal, while pre-match footage showed him interacting with every player after the warm up.

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Ritchie has been an incredible character and leader for Newcastle, and deserves one last chance to don the black and white stripes.

He was signed by Rafa Benitez in 2016 for £10million, and was one of our best players in the Championship. He then transformed into a competent left wing-back. His influence has waned this season, but he should be heralded as a great servant to Newcastle during a tough period.

Whether it’s from the start or as a substitute, the corner flag enthusiast should feature against Burnley.

The fans may sing about Bruno being magic, but Ritchie was the original wearer of the magic hat.

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