Newcastle United’s twelfth and final signing of the summer, Christian Atsu says that as soon as Rafa Benitez spoke to him, the Ghanaian international knew he would be coming to St James Park.
After checking with his family, the winger was on the way to Tyneside.
Like so many other players before him, Christian Atsu joined Chelsea with hopes of a bright Premier League future only to not play a single minute for them in the Cups or the League.
Arriving as a 21 year old from Porto three years ago, Atsu has been one of the dozens of Chelsea players to be sent out on loan each season.
With temporary stays at Vitesse Arnhem, Everton, Bournemouth and Malaga, can Newcastle be a more permanent destination?
As Christian Atsu says, his big strengths are his pace and getting behind the opposition to create chances.
At Rotherham, he gave a great display on his first start, scoring the winning goal as well as an all round man of the match performance.
Whilst Newcastle have sent out numerous players out on loan with a rigid clause that triggers a permanent move after making X number of appearances, when the Chelsea player arrived on deadline day it was simply reported that there was an ‘option’ to buy.
Newcastle fans are generally happy with the start Rafa Benitez’ team have made but there is a hope that as the season goes on, there will be a more attacking emphasis to try and overwhelm the opposition.
Christian Atsu came in for Matt Ritchie at Rotherham but if a place is found for both of them, as well as Gayle and Shelvey, then it could be exciting times ahead this season.
“Rafa Benitez encourages me, tells me to use my strongest point which is my pace and not to be afraid – he believes in what I can do.
“I was very happy when he called me and said that he would like me to join Newcastle.
“I told him that I would like to speak with my family first, but I knew I would join Newcastle United as soon as he spoke.
“I am a quick player and I like to run in behind the defence and create chances for my teammates.
“Everyone here is working hard and I’m very happy when everyone is happy and in good shape.
“We need everyone to be working hard because it is a long season.”