It’s been a mixed start to the season for Newcastle United, with one win and just four goals in five league outings, so far but one man who’s really stepped up is Christian Atsu.
He’s often frustrated during his Newcastle career, generally following up any promising performance with a shocker to bring us back down to earth, however he’s been a consistent threat, much more resourceful on the ball and very lively in each of his three Premier League appearances so far this season.
I was looking at his stats over the past few seasons, and one shocker stood out. In three games this season, he’s already got as many assists as he’s managed over the past TWO years:
- 2019/20 – 3 PL appearances – 2 assists
- 2018/19 – 28 PL appearances – 0 assists
- 2017/19 – 28 PL appearances – 2 assists
The Ghanaian has bagged two assists so far, setting up Joelinton’s goal at Spurs and Willems’ stunner at Anfield, yet weighed didn’t manage a single assists in 28 appearances over 2018/19 (last season) and assisted just twice in 28 appearances in our first season back in the Premier League in 2017/18.
As the stats above show, he’s created 9 chances across 245 minutes of football against Spurs, Watford and Liverpool so far this season, giving him an average of 3.31 chances created per 90 minutes – a tally only bettered by Watford’s Gerard Deulofeu and Brighton’s Pascal Gross.
He’s only three games into his season, so still has a long way to go before we can truly call him a player ‘reborn’, but the signs have been promising – and these stats clearly highlight his upturn in form.
With just 3 goals in his 59 Premier League appearances for the club, it’s clear where he needs to improve on next, with our need for goal scorers bigger than ever with Perez and Rondon gone, Almiron struggling and Joelinton settling in.
He said over the summer that his ‘best was yet to come’ in a black and white shirt. Maybe he was right..