Ghana FA update on Christian Atsu as player forced to show commitment
Christian Atsu was forced out of the action on Saturday, limping off against Bournemouth and replaced in the final stages.
A typical performance blowing hot and cold, looking dangerous but lacking much of an end product.
With Jacob Murphy looking anything but ready for the Premier League, the last thing Rafa Benitez needed was another injury to a first team player, with Mikel Merino and Jamaal Lascelles already set to miss Manchester United away in 10 days time.
The United boss said that Christian Atsu ‘felt something’ and had to come off, with the Newcastle medical staff set to monitor him during the international break.
However, news then emerged from Ghana that Atsu had turned up for international duty, leading some of the north east media to take that as meaning the winger must be fine.
Ghana are already out of the World Cup reckoning after a dismal qualifying campaign, their hopes finally ended in October with one game still to play.
That remaining game is at home to qualifiers Egypt this Sunday and it looks as though Christian Atsu has had pressure exerted to show his commitment to Ghana.
Atsu missed the match with Uganda in October which finally ended Ghana’s World Cup chances, this was due to the player picking up an injury/knock when playing for Newcastle.
However, this didn’t go down very well with both officials and fans in Ghana, as Christian Atsu started in the match (Liverpool home) before the October internationals and the one (Southampton away) afterwards.
As one of Ghana’s top stars and especially high profile now a regular starter in the Premier League, it looks clear that under pressure officials have insisted on his presence for this week’s international.
They may not be able to qualify and it looks very unlikely that Christian Atsu will be able to play – but at least his presence will alleviate some of the pressure from the disappointed Ghanaian football public.
Since arriving in Ghana it has been revealed that the player has not even been unable to train with the squad, instead Atsu has only been able to jog after sitting out the training sessions.
A spokesman for the Ghana FA though says despite injury concerns ‘What is important is that he (Atsu) made the trip down here’.
Then adding ‘You all read in the UK papers that the club said he suffered an injury, but the fact that Atsu has showed up, depicts the commitments and love Atsu has for the country’.
The Ghana v Egypt match takes place on Sunday and even if not able to play, it is clear that Christian Atsu will be expected to hang around for it.
This means he is unlikely to be back at Newcastle’s training ground until Wednesday at the earliest, leaving little time for treatment and/or preparation before Manchester United on the Saturday.
Interesting to see how Rafa Benitez handles this one, in terms of his own preparation/selection for that game at Old Trafford.
Ghana FA spokesman Ibrahim Sannie Daara:
“I am yet to be briefed on the medical report from Newcastle United yet.
“But what is important is that he made the trip down here.
“You all read in the UK papers that the club said he suffered an injury.
“But the fact that Atsu has showed up, depicts the commitments and love Atsu has for the country.”
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