Christian Atsu has given a brutally honest appraisal of his time at Newcastle, accepting this could be a ‘make or break’ season for him as bids to improve his ‘consistency’.
The Ghanaian has looked sharp whenever we’ve seen him this season. He was excellent when he came on at Spurs, providing a fine ball for Joelinton’s goal, and looked a threat throughout.
He was also lively against Leicester in the cup and possibly our most dangerous player against Watford, but he’s insisted that he’s always lacked consistency during his time on Tyneside – and plans to change that this season.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Anfield, here’s what he’s had to say in a refreshingly honest interview with the Northen Echo:
“I think this is going to be an important season for me,”
“I have been here for four years now – I have had some good times and played some good games, but I still don’t really think people have been able to see the best of me, certainly not on a consistent basis.
“The biggest thing for me this season is to be consistent. I’ve had some good performances with Newcastle, but I need to start being more consistent and keeping my standards at the same level through the season.
“That is probably what has held me back in my time at Newcastle so far – I haven’t been consistent enough – and I am working as hard as I can to try to improve that.
“I feel as though my fitness is getting better, and hopefully, that will help me when I am on the pitch.”
His recent form has been a breath of fresh air, and is all the more impressive considering he had only had a few days training, and missed pre season all together after suffering a hamstring injury at the AFCON.
Prior to this season his record for Newcastle was 3 goals and 3 assists in 60 games. So far this season he has one assist in just over two games. Given the desperate need to replace the goals we lost when Rondon and Perez left, added to Saint Maximin’s continued hamstring struggles and Almiron yet to score for us, it would be perfect timing if he could find his shooting boots this year, and finally fulfil the obvious potential which has seen Chelsea, Everton and Bournemouth all sign him at some point.
It’s impossible not to root for Atsu. He’s a very likeable, humble person, who has donated parts of his wages towards very worthwhile causes back in his native Ghana.
When Rafa left, obviously it was a dark day for the club. However, I remember through the disappointment, stating the day after that there would be one player, who would benefit from having the “shackles” taken off him so to speak. He seems to be playing a little higher up the pitch and the front three certainly suits him.
I predicted the player who would benefit the most would be Yoshinori Muto, maybe it might just be Christian Atsu.