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Christian Atsu called up for African Cup of Nations

4 weeks ago
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Christian Atsu had a strange season with Newcastle United.

Only one Premier League start before December but then became a first team regular.

One of the players appearing to benefit from Rafa Benitez going with a three/five at the back, Christian Atsu and Ayoze Perez playing as the main support players to Salomon Rondon.

As soon as Miguel Almiron arrived though, Atsu was quickly left out, only to come back in and start the final three games, when arguably he played his two best games of the season in the defeat to Liverpool and win at Fulham.

Appearing in 28 PL games (15 of them as a starter), it still though doesn’t feel like the winger/attacking midfielder has properly established himself with Newcastle.

At international level though it is a different story and Christian Atsu was an automatic choice as Ghana named their provisional 29 man squad for the upcoming African Cup of Nations.

The tournament runs from 21 June to 19 July and obviously it will affect pre-season preparations with Newcastle United.

The Ghana squad fly to Dubai at the start of June for a pre-tournament training camp and their group games at the African Cup of Nations are on 25 June (v Benin), 29 June (Cameroon) and 2 July (v Guinea-Bissau).

That last group match is the same day that the Newcastle squad report back for pre-season.

Whilst if Ghana do reach the final on 19 July, that comes in the middle of their participation in the Premier League Asia Trophy in China, when Newcastle play Wolves on 17 July and either West Ham or Man City on 20 July.

Meanwhile Miguel Almiron and Salomon Rondon are set to take part in the Copa America which takes place from 14 June to 7 July.

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