After arriving in a £6m deal from Chelsea in the summer of 2017, it’s fair to say things haven’t quite worked out for Christian Atsu at Newcastle.
The versatile midfielder had spent the previous campaign on loan at the Magpies, impressing Rafa Benitez enough to try and get a permanent deal over the line, with the then Newcastle boss raving about the fact they eventually got their man.
He said: “We are happy to sign a good player. He’s shown us that he’s a good professional and someone who is very keen to learn and improve. Christian has been a key part of our promotion campaign and he wants to help us to build something for the future.”
Fast forward a few years later however, and Atsu is barely getting a look-in at St James’ Park, a mere after-thought. So much so that his only appearance in a Newcastle shirt this season has been a ten-minute outing in the Carabao Cup against Blackburn Rovers in the second round – other than that, he hasn’t even made a single match-day squad.
The Ghana international enjoyed his best time on Tyneside under Benitez, scoring eight goals and providing five assists, but current boss Steve Bruce has made his feelings clear about him.
Speaking earlier in September, he said: “I like Christian – the same goes for (Yoshinori) Muto – trains every day, works tirelessly, (and is) a good professional. But in a situation where, are they going to play enough? There has to come a time when they go and play football.”
Atsu failed to get a move away from St James’ Park however, and whilst his contract is coming to an end when the season finishes, he will still have cost the club some big-money.
In fact, coupled with his transfer fee and wages, the Ghanaian will have cost Newcastle £11.5m since arriving. A complete waste of resources on a player who just hasn’t hit the heights.