As reported by the Chronicle It is more than likely that Rafa Benitez will turn to Christian Atsu, as Matt Ritchie’s replacement, as the Scottish international misses the weekend through suspension. Atsu has replaced Ritchie in the team before and is yet to disappoint.
The Ghanaian winger is pacey, direct and skilful. In terms of style, he may not be a direct replacement for Ritchie, who relies far more on delivery and vision but Atsu has stepped up to the mark every time he has pulled on a black and white shirt to date.
With the African Cup of Nations just around the corner, Atsu will need to make sure that if he does start, he leaves his mark, to not only guarantee first team football upon his return but also to guarantee his permanent future, with his loan deal from Chelsea set to expire at the end of the season.