He says ‘we will think about this’ at the end of the season but staying at Newcastle looks sure to be taken out of the hands of Christian Atsu.

Signing on a year’s loan without any contract clause on appearances to trigger a no discussion permanent deal, it is very difficult to see how Rafa Benitez will have any interest in extending the Ghanaian winger’s stay beyond May.

Aged 25 and with 40 international caps behind him, he is no unknown quantity who is going to blossom into a different player.

He is what he is and the bottom line is, no matter how you dress it up, that Rafa has chosen to start Atsu in only 11 of the 41 Championship matches played so far.

A tricky winger who takes on his opponent, if the Newcastle boss hasn’t thought he was capable of that in the second tier, how are we supposed to believe that the Manager thinks he will get on better against superior full-backs and teams in the Premier League?

The fact is as well, if Newcastle are promoted then the team are going to get far less possession, so when dominant in most games this season, Christian Atsu has had the perfect opportunity to impress when given the chance.

In flashes he has shown ability this season but the bottom line is that the winger is now on his fifth loan club since joining Chelsea and in the two years before coming to Tyneside, only started four league matches.

It is fair to say that fans would generally have chosen Atsu to play on the wing this season but overall his performances don’t merit it, disappointing at least as often as he puts in a decent shift.

Benitez has preferred the very limited but committed Yoan Gouffran this season to Christian Atsu and with both players out of contract at Newcastle this summer, the smart money must be on Rafa Benitez looking for a new option to give far more quality on that left hand side.

Christian Atsu talking to the Shields Gazette:

“I am just focused on the upcoming games.

“We have a number of games left and we want to win promotion – I’m just focusing on that.

“We just want to keep hoping and fighting this season, then we will think about this.

“After these games we will wait and see what happens from there.

“We have fought so hard this season  and this (being in top two on verge of promotion) is what we wanted.

We want to keep winning games and 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.”

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