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Why Rafa Benitez Signed Ghanaian Player

Christian Atsu at Newcastle, is currently faced with the challenge of developing himself to prove he truly deserves a place in the English Premier League.

Newcastle United Manager Rafael Benitez has come out clear on the true reason behind his decision to permanently sign Ghanaian midfielder, Christian Atsu.

Recall that eyebrows were raised over Christian Atsu’s permanent move to Tyneside in May, considering his mixed form last season. But according to the Newcastle Coach, he settled on Atsu because of his cheap transfer fee as well as his readiness to improve.

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Responding to those who criticised Atsu’s Newcastle deal while speaking to The Chronicle, Rafael Benitez explained that the former FC Porto midfielder is very cheap compared to what is generally obtainable in the transfer market.

“Some people were saying at the beginning: ‘Oh Atsu, why will we keep Atsu?’. But he is very cheap now, when you see the market he is very cheap, and you can see that he can improve.”

Albeit pointing out that Atsu has improved and will continue to improve, Coach Benitez  admitted that he does to know if Atsu can develop to be at the level the club requires of him.

“Can he be at the level that we need for him to do ‘this’ or ‘that’? I don’t know, but he’s someone that you know has improved and will keep improving because he’s keen to learn.

Also See: 10 Lesser Known Facts about Christian Atsu

Atsu, since his permanent move to Rafael Benítez’s side, has made seven appearances out of seven in the Premier League, starting six games and scoring one goal, as well as making one assist.

Meanwhile, Newcastle United is currently placing ninth on the Premier League table, with 10 points from seven matches, just three points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Newcastle United on Wednesday, 24th May, 2017, announced completing a four-year permanent deal with Christian Atsu for a reported fee of £6.2 million, after his season long loan term from Chelsea FC.

The Ghanaian player who has been with Chelsea since 2013 was throughout his contract period with the Blues, sent on loan to several clubs, namely: Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga, and finally to Newcastle in the 2016/2017 season.

It is apparent that it was the Ghanaian international’s outstanding performances for Newcastle which helped them regain their Premier League status that earned him the permanent move to Tyneside. The 25-year-old who spent last season on loan at St. James’ Park, made 32 league appearances and scored five goals as The Magpies lifted the Sky Bet Championship title.

But Christian Atsu at Newcastle, is still faced with the challenge of developing himself to prove he truly deserves a place in the English Premier League. However, working under Benitez holds promise of helping him achieve this desired improvement in his career.

Recall that the former Liverpool and Chelsea manager had expressed the club’s happiness over Atsu’s permanent transfer signing back in May. Benitez had then described the Ghanaian player as a good professional and someone who is very keen to learn and improve. He had also pointed out that Christian Atsu has shown that he wants to help the club “build something for the future”.

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