It Was An Agonizing Week In May For This Newcastle Player


When the season finished in early May, Newcastle fans started to look forward to the coming transfer window,  but it’s been long and hard so far and without too much success.

That can change very quickly of course and we hope it does – soon.

We put out a poll at the end of April asking fans if we should sign Chelsea winger Christian Atsu permanently, after he had been on loan all season –  and 83% of fans said yes.

25 year-old Christian Atsu – upbeat and smiling

But it seems it was still a wait of a week after the end of the season on Sunday May 7th – after we won the Championship – before Rafa Benitez decided to sign the 25 year-old Ghanaian International permanently.

For Christian, that seems to have been a very long and agonizing wait, because he wanted so much to sign for the club.

Christian is on a four year deal at Newcastle and he is certainly looking forward to the Premier League, which kicks off for Newcastle on Sunday, August 13th (unlucky for some) against Tottenham at home.

The game will be televised live around the world and it kicks off at 1:30 pm.

Now that’s more like it compared to last season.

🙂

This is what Christian has said in the Chronicle today about that rather long week waiting for a call from Rafa Benitez:

“He called me and told me he wanted to sign me, so I was very happy.”

“The fact he called me shows me respect and I have to repay him for that. When the season finished I went back to Chelsea and I was waiting for a week.”

“I hoped and prayed that Newcastle would take up the option. I had my dream came true. I wanted to be with this team.”

“The last trophy I won is always the most important but you want to move forward and win more.”

“I want to move forward in my life. It is important that we won that trophy.”

“What I remember most is that we finished the game and then we had to wait for the result. We were lucky that Aston Villa drew with Brighton and we won the league.”

“We were very happy but that moment has now passed and we focus on the new season.”

Christian is just a great guy who loves being at Newcastle and playing for the club.

That’s always good.

Here’s the poll we put out on April 30th and the fans got their wish.

Should Benitez Sign Christian Atsu Permanently

  • Yes (83%, 2,502 Votes)
  • No (17%, 496 Votes)

Total Voters: 2,998

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Comments welcome.



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90 comments so far

  • lesh

    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:38 AM

    Comment #1

    Surely to goodness, if there’s a shortage of money for transfers, shouldn’t somebody be allowing some slack to build a squad that stands a chance of avoiding relegation or being in a relegation spot at Christmas.

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  • Pitmatic

    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:43 AM

    Comment #2

    I’m not sure about Murphy. Is he any better than Atsu? His keenness to sign is obviously a big plus, but I think Grosicki would have a much bigger impact in the short term.

    What the whole saga puts me in mind of is our failure to sign both Redmond and Gray for absolute peanuts when we had the chance. Both were continually linked with us while managed by Lee Clark at Birmingham; both went to lesser PL clubs for under £3m during our peak austerity years; both are now worth well over £20m. The incompetence of our transfer dealings under Ashley really is quite staggering.

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  • Ron Knee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:46 AM

    Comment #3

    This evening’s match might be available on the Hearts’ website.

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  • corkypants

    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:58 AM

    Comment #5

    Great detective work Ron Knee good work thanks!!!

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  • expatmag

    Jul 14, 2017 at 9:59 AM

    Comment #6

    I thought we were buying PREMIERSHIP PROVEN players.

    So far, Atsu, Dejeune and possibly Murphy DONT FIT THE BILL

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:01 AM

    Comment #7

    Nothing like selective memory and hindsight to make a point. How many players were we going to sign, but didn’t, who went on to flop? Beaten to it because we wouldn’t pay over the odds? Are there none like that? Have we always got it wrong and never got it right? I’ve got a niggling feeling I can recall people on here uttering those words ‘we dodged a bullet there’.
    The Alli one is a red herring because as close as we were, he wasn’t keen on coming here and was always waiting for the Spurs link to become reality.
    Reminded me what a great player the lad who signed for QPR became? (bugs me when the name drops out your head just when you’re about to write it down! 🙂 ) How long was he injured for when he went to Chelsea? Don’t we wish we hadn’t made a bid for Rivierre, or someone had jumped in?
    Swings and roundabouts lads, nothing’s ever clean cut.
    Just give them chance eh? Norwich don’t want to sell and 16m is not on. Better delay and get a good deal. I guarantee – and I don’t do that usually – he isn’t going anywhere else. His mind is set on coming here, we know that, so let’s get the best deal possible. Today, tomorrow, the day after, won’t make a scrap of difference, but four million is a chunk towards another player.

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  • lesh

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:08 AM

    Comment #8

    If Ashley’s fixer, Barnes, is running the current transfer circus, then he must have Ashley’s backing for his inactivity so far. What’s he playing at? Has he evaluated the risks he’s taking? Does he want the club he owns, his asset relegated – again, to lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds over years to come?? Our larger than life, booze addled, gambling owner’s playing a dangerous game and something’ll give – if he doesn’t get a grip of reality, soon!

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  • lesh

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:13 AM

    Comment #9

    Bobbybee

    You’re beginning to remind me of the Maybot – no deal’s better than a bad deal.

    She and her unvisionary programmers are digging themselves into a deep hole that’ll become so deep it’s impossible to get out of.

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  • toontaff2

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:15 AM

    Comment #10

    A few have also said it, but not shifting anyone out is strange. Clearly Riverelinho and Saivetteo will take some shifting but Hanley, Murph, Lazaar, Darlow/Krul, possibly Colback/Diame would certainly have suitors.

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  • Tsunki

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:26 AM

    Comment #11

    So the transfer window has boiled down to this. We are hoping it will be a success when we have signed a young prospect from a championship side.

    All a bit sad really.

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:28 AM

    Comment #12

    Lesh, please, just don’t go there eh? If you can’t read what i’ve put properly, don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t do it to you.
    We will get this deal. There, said it. If I’m wrong I’m wrong, but I think that is a statement I can make.
    If it was down to you we’d buy him for 16m just to make you feel better. Why do it? Why not get him for as close to twelve million as possible? HE WANTS TO COME HERE. Do you realise what an advantage that is for us? Obviously not, silly me. It means that Norwich have two choices. Either sell him to us for a price both are happy with, or risk the whole dressing room being in turmoil.
    How quickly you forget Cabaye mate. You can’t keep players who don’t want to be there, surely the Cabaye situation taught you something? It’s gone from advantage Norwich, to advantage Newcastle. Even if someone else comes in with a 16m offer, he can refuse to go. The days of player slavery ended in the 60’s mate.
    Don’t insult me like that mate. I want the best for this club and buy a ST every year to prove it. I want this sale to go through as much if not more than you, why say that? I also want other players. If we get him for 12m,we save four million, which could be the difference between getting a top player or not.
    Murphy is untested really, but the potential is huge. But it is still potential. Let’s not throw money away when we can get him cheaper. He’s as good as ours if we play it right.

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  • Jib

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:29 AM

    Comment #13

    lesh

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:08 AM
    Comment #8

    If Ashley doesn’t get a grip of reality, soon!

    Ahh the irony

    Lesh you are the one that makes up your own NUFC scenarios

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  • hibbit

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:31 AM

    Comment #14

    still a long way to go but not as optimistic as i was

    wish i could get a bottle of bobbys “blind faith” might just keep me going through this drought

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:32 AM

    Comment #15

    I wonder why Rafa doesn’t rate Darlow, .com are saying he could be left out of the squad tonight due to ongoing speculation that he could be on his way. Looks like a No 1 keeper will be coming in with Elliot as No 2 and he wants Woodman to be the third choice, does that mean he won’t be going on loan or will Krul be coming back.

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  • Ron Knee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #16

    hibbit

    Blind Faith – what a great band that was!

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  • toontaff2

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:34 AM

    Comment #17

    Murp scored 9 last season In the Championship, same as Perez, only less than Ritchie and Gayle.

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  • toontaff2

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:35 AM

    Comment #18

    Murp = JAcob Murphy – 🙄

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  • giimps

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #19

    Personally I think everything is agreed other than the addons, he will be here shortly and then we go back to being content for 10minutes till another journo says Rafa is unhappy that we only have 5 players in this window (admittedly 2 are youth/u23 ) and is about to walk ………again, then help do his conferences from Ireland saying he’s pleased so far but they’re still working on targets , wait 10 minutes and Journo repeats Rafa is unhappy…..bla….bla….walking……..

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  • toontaff2

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #20

    How much do West Ham want for Randolph?

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  • hibbit

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:37 AM

    Comment #21

    Jail for Ashley
    Boro fan’s seem to think a deal is imminent , not sure here its coming from ?????

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:38 AM

    Comment #22

    Bobby,
    I understand you, but we will all be looking and feeling stupid and angry should Soton sign him for 12M because we’ve played to hard ball.

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  • Mister Tuff

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #23

    Jail – that’s a strange one.
    Rafa must have thought our keepers were rubbish – hence buying in Sels – who was worse that what we had.
    Darlow in my opinion did enough last season to keep the no1 spot. Then suddenly Tubbs Elliot makes an appearance for the last few games and Darlow overlooked. Now we have talk of Reina/Hart etc etc.

    What Darlow did to get dropped I do not know.
    As Rafa wanted a new keeper last season is he STILL trying to prove his point about our keepers being crap.
    I don’t know – all a bit strange. Do not get the rush to bin Darlow and get someone else in.

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:43 AM

    Comment #24

    The one in one out generally works like this. You line up a player to come in, then move one out, either just before or just after. You don’t sell everyone, then hope to get players in, or get everyone in and hope to sell later.
    You know, although it sounds like just words, it’s not. It’s real money. Not ours granted, but the clubs. Would anybody be so flippant if it was their money? I think not!!
    The window closing is weeks away. Rafa himself has said he’s been shocked by the prices, so that means a complete rethink. Money is limited, regardless of what Ashley is worth. Hasn’t these years of him taught you anything? Nobody likes it, but he is how he is.
    Yet Rafa has reiterated that he’s in charge of transfers, not Ashley. He’s been given a fixed amount to spend and between him and Penfold, they have to get the best deals. That might mean Rafa giving way on occasion, or Penfold biting the bullet. Let them handle it. Unless Rafa is lying to us.
    Is he part of a conspiracy against the fans? ANOTHER one?.
    This season was going to be tough, only the deluded think otherwise. Top four? Rafa would laugh at that I suspect. Next season we have more money. Let’s be realistic and get through this season comfortably, then think about paying daft money for players.

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  • cjtoon

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #25

    I know its kind of expected now but the prices of some transfers in this window is beyond insane, Average and even some pretty poor players going for 10 – 30 mil

    You can imagine how that plays on the minds of owners/scouts etc – I know you have to speculate to accumulate but I wouldn’t want to be the one pulling the 30Mil trigger on a dud

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  • Jib

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:47 AM

    Comment #26

    I think Florian Lejeune was bought because Rafa senses he can make the PL grade
    However other positions and players are less easy to take a chance on
    Rafa will be defo looking for players with PL experience
    Following that criterion you can limit the number of plyers we have been linked with
    to:-
    Kamil Grosicki
    Kieran Gibbs
    Fabian Delph
    Andros Townsend
    Jesus Navas
    Jefferson Montero
    Pepe Reina

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:50 AM

    Comment #27

    Jib,
    I think we’d all be feeling a bit happier if they unveiled that lot on three year deals on Monday.

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  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:52 AM

    Comment #28

    Why on earth would we want Randolph? Darlow made 3 howlers (mainly lack of communication) in short order last season, but his shot stopping was generally outstanding. Would only want a top, top keeper coming in if darlow goes. Not sure about elliot, and krul – who knows what the situation is there. Who’s batting first by the way?

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  • Jail for Ashley

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #29

    Rotonda,
    Aye, Rafa seems to have a bee in his bonnet regarding the keeper situation, has all his previous successes been with a good solid keeper who he trust 100%, Reina at Liverpool, what about Valencia?

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  • martoon

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #30

    Assuming we eventually get Murphy then how many more wingers do we need? Looking at Jib’s list of players with PL experience there are a lot of wingers on it – personally from that I’d be happy with Reina, Townsend (or Grosicki) and Gibbs.

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  • cjtoon

    Jul 14, 2017 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #31

    I’m not too concerned at the moment – more intrigued. I wonder how much correlation to real goings on the news we hear has.

    I mean I don’t understand why GK seems a prime recruitment position. I think its one of our strongest areas granted i’m not sure who #1 is anymore Krul has been out/on loan a good while but when on form is a great GK, Elliot Was great the season we got relegated and has done well when called upon and Darlow except for a couple of wobbles was definitely improved last season. We have woodman waiting in the wings to boot!

    I’m keen to see who else is going to be leaving as there are quite a few not up to scratch. I’m probably more interested in who’s going than coming in :-p

    Jib i think all of those players could definitely add something to the squad not sure all would be first 11 players though…

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:00 AM

    Comment #32

    Jail, do you know how transfers work mate? Murphy has to sign the paper or nothing happens. Clubs can agree, but ultimately he has the final say. Player power has worked against us in the past, but this time it’s in our favour. His mind is set on coming here, or he’ll stay at Norwich. He’s signed a four year contract, so they can’t force him out to another club unless he agrees. He’ll sit tight and say Newcastle or nothing. Sooner or later they have to make a choice: keep an unhappy player, or work out a deal with us. I think we’ll all agree around the 12m mark. If I’m wrong I’m wrong. What d’you think I’ll do like, smash up the blog?
    Did you look silly the times you were wrong? I don’t think so. Did you throw a tantrum? Dunno, wasn’t there, but I doubt it. Neither will I mate. Everybody is wrong sometimes, it never hurts any of us to be wrong. This time I’m not even saying ‘it might’, or ‘could be’, as I usually do, I’m going out on a limb and saying ‘advantage Newcastle’. If I’m wrong, big deal. I was wrong once before, 31st July 1974, remember it well, but I survived it. 🙂 🙂 (I jest, OK). If you’re not prepared to be wrong occasionally, you can never make a definitive statement can you?
    We’ll get Murphy. Said it. Believe it. Right or wrong.

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  • Pitmatic

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:01 AM

    Comment #33

    Bobby

    I rarely get over-excited about transfer misses. Some you win, some you lose, and as you say, most are likely to flop anyway. However, some just grate.

    I mentioned Redmond and Gray because we’re now looking at signing a player with a more or less identical profile, only at a vastly inflated fee. The opportunity was there to sign those players at a reduced fee due to Birmingham’s financial problems, and the link with Clark would surely have made that easier. Newcastle were operating a buy-low sell-high policy focussed around developing young players. Even without knowing how good those two would become, it looked like a no-brainer, with very little risk attached. Personally, I never really minded Ashley’s transfer policy (apart from the brainless age-restrictions); it was the failure to implement it intelligently that was maddening.

    Signing players is never straightforward, especially at Newcastle, but certain deals look so obvious that missing out on them can haunt you for years. We should have had di Canio at Newcastle for example; Tommy Burns urged Dalglish to sign him. Can you imagine it?!

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  • Rotonda heights

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:02 AM

    Comment #34

    Jjail

    I think Jib alluded to the fact we have several keepers who individually are either good at distribution, communication, etc, etc but don’t collectively have all you want and need in a keeper. Canizares was Rafa’s keeper at Valencia. Don’t know if you kept your Spanish going but this is a very good link https://lightspeedspanish.co.uk/ It’s on youtube as well. Run by a Geordie bloke even!!

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  • cjtoon

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:09 AM

    Comment #35

    Rotonda

    I think thats probably right to be fair, Krul & Darlow are shot stoppers, Krul probably edges it reflex wise but darlow seems quicker off his line. Elliot is much better in terms of distribution but perhaps a little slower in other departments but by no means a slouch in terms of shot stopping – Maybe its because they’re all so equal its impossible to pick a starter :-/

    I think the issue is we’re being linked to keepers that in all honesty probably aren’t noticeably better than them. I mean Hart sounds like a big name but he isnt the keeper he once was and the same with Reina not to mention this Randolph link – seriously?! how is he an improvement?

    If we were being linked with Jack Butland for £35 Mil it would be a bit different

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  • Jib

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:10 AM

    Comment #36

    Jail
    Rafa at Valencia had Blondie Cañizares
    Remember him ?
    42 caps for Spain – total headbanger

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:15 AM

    Comment #37

    Cj, good posts mate. Imagine the meltdown on here if we spent a fortune on someone who did flop? Does not bear thinking about. Despite being pushed all the way to do it by fans, Penfold would get it in the neck big style. 🙂
    Weeks to go. Rafa’s accepted we couldn’t do the deals we wanted to because of crazy prices, I don’t see why it’s so hard for others to accept it too.
    There’s been zero evidence that Rafa’s annoyance is towards Ashley. Maybe because Rafa has already stated the transfers are between him and Penfold, not Ashley. So unless Rafa’s lying to us for some bizarre reason, then I accept him on his word. Why would I not? Until he lies to us, I trust him. Don’t trust Ashley, but Rafa said it and that’s enough for me.
    Nobody knows what’s to spend, but clearly it’s limited and that’s the same for all three coming up. If anybody would be happy with what Huddersfield have added, then they’re easily pleased, bearing in mind some of them are just extending their stay, like Mooy.
    Let’s get Murphy for a fair price. 16m isn’t that. 12ish will be fair to both clubs.

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  • lesh

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:16 AM

    Comment #38

    Bobbybee

    You’re right that we shouldn’t be held to random over player fees but for hell’s sake, Jacob Murphy should really be a one for the future – over and above the main targets that we haven’t yet got!

    Yes, we have bought or luckily missed out some pups but don’t forget who recommended them. Some may have been down Carr’s list but Ashley bought them on highly paid contracts that are now impeding their sale.

    Let’s not forget that Cabaye got his move to PSG some months after forcing the issue. But PSG’s top-flight status did not depend on him.

    Our situation’s a lot different in that we have a squad that’ll probably struggle to survive the Prem and if we’re really struggling by Xmas, Ashley will doubtless sanction spend. Why does he have to play high-risk strategy?

    Anyway, Bobby, that’s your argument ration used up so it’s all plain sailing now. 😉

    Oh and Jib,… The reality goes far beyond the bottom line of a cash flow or profit and loss forecast!

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  • Jib

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:18 AM

    Comment #39

    I’ve only ever been wrong once !
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    .
    .
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    I found out later I’d been right
    😀

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  • Bobbybee

    Jul 14, 2017 at 11:29 AM

    Comment #40

    Pitmatic, wasn’t saying those were wrong mate, they were good options at the time. I wanted Redmond when he was still a bairn, ditto Gray, but I was simply pointing out that you win some, you lose some.
    To be fair, their prices are probably similar to Murphy’s in the current market!! 12m is nothing compared to 54m for Walker to City. He’s far from their best player and getting that for him is mental. Typical City though, price means nothing to them, just another number to write on the cheque.
    Don’t think I was saying you were wrong mate, I thought I explained my point but maybe not, I was saying for every hit, there’s a miss. We seem to remember the fails more though! 🙂 Human nature.

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