Christian Atsu has been unable to nail down a starting position at Newcastle although the winger has had more playing time this season than he has since joining Chelsea from Porto in the summer of 2013.
The 42 times capped Ghanaian International (9 goals) has appeared 25 times for Newcastle with three goals during his season long loan.
But we wonder if that’s going to be enough for Rafa to make the deal permanent in the summer?
Christian Atsu – happy in training
Certainly Atsu is a popular player among the fans and he seems to be just a smashing lad, but Rafa is not sentimental in any way – and he will make the decision on whether to buy Atsu based on football only.
That’s one reason he is such a good and successful manager.
This is what Atsu has said when asked about his long term future, as reported in the Chronicle:
“I am just focused on the coming games.” “We have a number of games left and we want to win promotion.”
“I am just focusing on that.” “We just want to keep hoping and fighting this season, then we will think about this.”
“We will see what happens after the season.” “We have fought so hard this season – this is what we wanted.”
“We want to keep winning games. We do not want to give away what we have fought for from the start of the season.”
“For that reason we will keep working hard, keep fighting.”
Those are good words from Christian.
It’s clear that Atsu loves playing at Newcastle and that he also loves working with Rafa Benitez and respects him as one of the top coaches in the game.
We would like to see Rafa sign the 25 year-old in the summer, but somehow we don’t think that will happen.
It also looks like Yoan Gouffran will be released this summer since he hasn’t done enough in the second half of the season to warrant a new two year deal, when his contract runs out at the end of June.
We could see Rafa being both aggressive and ruthless in the summer, so that he can significantly strengthen the Newcastle squad for the Premier League next season.
There are a number of decisions to be made on a lot of Newcastle players and a majority of those could well be allowed to leave the club this summer.
They could include both Christian Atsu and Yoan Gouffran.
What do you think?