Christian Atsu was Rafa Benitez’ first summer signing, converting his loan deal into a permanent contract back in May.
Despite a nomadic existence in club football, five loan spells in four years after joining Chelsea in 2013, the winger is a national hero back in Ghana.
An automatic first choice, Christian Atsu was named player of the tournament in 2015 when Ghana finished as runners-up in the African Cup of Nations, then earlier this year, he was named in the team of the tournament at the latest finals.
Now playing regularly in the Premier League, the most watched league in the world, Atsu is now under close scrutiny back home – with the public willing him on.
Every set of Premier League matches sees the exploits of the Newcastle player and other Ghanaian players playing in England, widely reported.
Fair to say the games so far have had highs and lows for the player, getting an assist for the opening goal in the win over West Ham, as well as scoring in the victory over Stoke City.
Other matches though have seen minimal input from Christian Atsu and Sunday was one of them, in our player ratings from fans, the winger was awarded an average mark of only 5.5 out of 10.
However, there was an interest report on his performance from one of the top Ghanaian media organisations that regularly report on players in the Premier League.
Ghana Soccer Net reporting:
“Christian Atsu has been passed fit to join the Black Stars camp ahead of 2018 World Cup qualifier against Uganda after escaping a kung-fu like tackle in Newcastle United’s 1-1 stalemate with Liverpool on Sunday.
“Christan Atsu, 25, tormented Liverpool full back Joe Gomez on a countless of occasions with trickery and sheer pace in the encounter.
“However, Gomez escaped a direct red card despite the immense protest from the home fans, making away with just a yellow card.
“Senegal striker Sadio Mane was sent off for a similar challenge – albeit more severe – on Manchester City’s goalkeeper Ederson a few weeks ago.
“Luckily for Atsu, he didn’t suffer any effects after the challenge and will now be joining the Black Stars camp in Kenya as they prepare for their penultimate 2018 World Cup qualifier against Uganda.”
Obviously, the ‘countless’ occasions when he ‘tormented’ the Liverpool right-back ‘trickery and sheer pace’ must have happened when I popped to the toilet..
As for the ‘Kung-Fu’ incident, it wasn’t the worst challenge, a yellow card more than adequate.
I will have to make the effort to catch the reports from Ghana when he actually plays well, could be interesting…