When AFC Bournemouth were promoted to the Premier League in 2015 they needed to add quality and they did this through the loan system and landed a big fish in Ghanaian international Christian Atsu. Yet, the loan period from Chelsea was not profitable for Christian who only played in two League Cup matches and he was quickly recalled by and annoyed Jose Mourhinio. It’s been a different story for Christian though on Tyneside where he has become a fan’s favourite.
Newcastle were quickly in to sign Atsu in June following his successful campaign with Newcastle in the Championship in 2016/17. The Ghanaian scored five goals in the Geordies’ promotion run and a price-tag of £6.2m sounds a reasonable outlay for an international player that has 42 caps and has been in a World Cup squad.
So did AFC Bournemouth miss a trick? The player that mainly kept Atsu out of the Cherries’ team was a certain Matt Ritchie who of course is now at Newcastle. The fact that Rafa Benitez has managed to get both players into his team is either a tale that Atsu has improved and Newcastle had less competition for places or Bournemouth’s wingers were exceptional to keep Atsu out of the team.
If the latter is true, Newcastle haven’t done too badly as Atsu will be looking to impress in the top flight and with the Geordie crowd behind him, he has everything to play for. For once, Eddie How might have missed out on a player that just needed some games.
Sometimes players need to be give a chance and now that Atsu has found that at Newcastle he looks like a bargain buy.