Soccer News of Thursday, 1 September 2016
Ghana and Chelsea midfielder Christian Atsu has completed a season-long loan move to English Championship side Newcastle United, with an option to make it permanent after the ongoing campaign.
The 24-year-old joined the Blues from Portuguese side FC Porto in 2013 but did not make a single appearance for the senior team, going on loan throughout.
He was previously farmed out to Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth and recently to Spanish side Malaga, where he made 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring four goals.
Atsu poured out his joy and said he was itching to set the ball rolling at the St. James’ Park.
“I’m very happy to be at Newcastle,” Atsu told the club’s website. “It’s a very big club. They have good facilities and I think Newcastle have one of the best coaches in the world.
“St. James’ Park is a fantastic stadium with 50,000 fans. The fans here really love football so much and I can’t wait to play at this stadium in front of the fans.”
Newcastle boss Rafael Benitez praised Atsu’s qualities and believes he will be a good addition to the club as they seek promotion back to the Premier League.
“I agreed with our fans that we needed to bring in another winger, so I am very happy to welcome Christian to the club.
“He has good ability and pace in the wide areas and also has good experience of English football.
“He has a different style of play to the other players we have at the moment and that will be important for the squad,” he said.
Atsu boasts of 44 caps for Ghana and has scored nine goals in the process. He was part of the Black Stars squad that represented Ghana at the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.