Opinions of Thu, 2 Mar 20171

Christian Atsu; Newcastle's unexpected hero

By: Carson A Merk

When Newcastle United needed someone to step up big, it was diminutive Christian Atsu that answered the call.

Chelsea has loaned Christian Atsu to five different teams, including Newcastle United. He has state multiple times that he hopes this current stint with the Magpies turns into a permanent one this summer. If he keeps playing like he has the last few matches, Newcastle United should do everything in its power to make that happen.

Atsu is known for his pace. He will always be known for his pace. But, he is starting to showcase he’s much more than just a speedster.

Long runs down the wing, blazing by defenders, are still his calling card. However, now he’s making himself a better target to receive the ball, and is able to make plays once he gets it.

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Countless times in the draw with Bristol City, Atsu sent quality centering passes into the box, only for nobody to get on the other end of them.

The match winning goal by Ayoze Perez last night was exactly one of those plays. As well as the Ghanaian is playing, even his mis-hits are working.

He didn’t strike the ball on target from the top of the box, but the poor shot ricocheted off of Mohamed Diame into the net for the equalizing goal.

He also had a shot go just wide against Bristol after it beat the keeper, and had a well shot close range effort stopped last night. You can’t teach Atsu’s natural, athletic gifts, and as he continues to work on the technical aspects of his game, he will be a nightmare to stop.

Columnist: Carson A Merk

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