Injured Newcastle star surprises by still joining up with national side
The last thing Rafa Benitez needed with Mikel Merino already ruled out, was to see any more Newcastle first team stars picking up injuries.
However, as well as the injury time defeat to Bournemouth, two more players picked up injuries.
Jamaal Lascelles was forced off in the 55th minute and replaced by Ciaran Clark, then with only eight minutes left, Christian Atsu limped off with Jacob Murphy coming on.
After the game Rafa Benitez said:
“Jamaal Lascelles will have his ankle assessed.
“With Christian Atsu, he felt something, but it’s too early to tell, we will see.”
Later the United boss said that both players would be monitored over the international break.
The Newcastle captain also having confirmed that he was having a scan on his ankle on Monday (yesterday).
When Christian Atsu was ruled out of the last set of internationals there were complaints in Ghana, the Newcastle player one of their star performers.
Doubts were expressed as to the seriousness of the knock/injury, especially with Atsu starting both the game before (Liverpool home) the internationals and the one afterwards (Southampton away).
Ghana can’t qualify for the World Cup now and so it seemed an easy decision for Christian Atsu to miss their final group match with Egypt, having picked up this latest knock/injury v Bournemouth.
However, it has been confirmed that Atsu has indeed travelled to Ghana and arrived there on Monday night, joining up with the rest of the players this (Tuesday) morning.
Always a delicate balance between club and international football – only Christian Atsu will know how bad/insignificant the injury/knock is.
Ghana don’t play Egypt until Sunday (12 November) so earliest Atsu would be back training is likely to be Wednesday.
Rafa Benitez has already shown he is willing to leave out first team players such as Ciaran Clark and Mikel Merino when they have been away with their countries, preferring at times to play other squad players who have been at the training ground and able to be worked with in advance of the next match.
Atsu had a typical display against Bournemouth, looking promising at times but little end product.
He certainly isn’t undroppable, although Jacob Murphy looked a million miles away from being ready to start a game when coming off the bench.
Could the so far forgotten about Rolando Aarons make a very surprising return into the team at Old Trafford? Well Christian Atsu looks to have at least helped open up the possibility.
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]