It’s been pointed out just how strong the Newcastle squad is when we can leave Dwight Gayle, our top goalscorer and the suspended Matt Ritchie, probably our best player this season – out of the side and the team doesn’t seem to be weakened.
That’s because we had Aleksandar Mitrovic and Christian Atsu in place of them and those two players played really well and are easily leading our Man of the Match poll.
It was probably symbolic that Mitro set up Atsu for the first goal after just three minutes, when the 22 year-old Serbian unselfishly laid the ball off to the Ghanaian who fired home in great style.
Rafa Benitez congratulates Christian Atsu after goal yesterday
Christian is really enjoying his time on loan at Newcastle and he seems to love being coached by Rafa Benitez and playing in a side that has legendary support from the fans
Christian looked very good in that first half yesterday but he has a lot of room to improve too.
But he used his tremendous pace down the right wing and the Walesonline report of the game pointed out the Cardiff players couldn’t live with Atsu for parts of the game yesterday.
He almost scored his second goal just after half-time when his effort was deflected over the bar.
And by his own admission Arsu misses too many chances and he doesn’t always do things like track back and his final ball is not all it could be.
Matt Ritchie is excellent at tracking back and it’s something Christian will improve on as gets more playing time at Newcastle.
But there’s no doubt Atsu has natural speed and natural ability and he seems to be a perfect player for Rafa to bring out those qualities by his coaching and vastly improve the 24 year-old.
That’s especially true when Christian has said he wants to improve in almost all areas at Newcastle.
Rafa will have a chance to buy Christian in January and make the move permanent and we think he will want to do that.
Otherwise Newcastle may have to fight maybe Premier League clubs in the summer for his signature if Christian continues to improve under Benitez.
He is almost the perfect player for Rafa to coach, because of his natural ability and his tremendous speed – coupled with his ambitions to be come a much better player.
We should sign this lad as soon as possible.