AFCON star Atsu important player for Everton – Martinez

Sports News of Monday, 16 February 2015


Christian Atsu New Jersey

The Ghanaian has earned the praise of his club boss after a stellar performance in Equatorial Guinea and could have more playing time

Ghana winger Christian Atsu is going to play an important role at Everton after his exploits at the Africa Cup of Nations, according to manager Roberto Martinez.

The 23-year-old was voted the player of the tournament in Equatorial Guinea and helped the Black Stars to place second after a marathon shootout with Ivory Coast in the final. He also won the Goal of the Tournament award.

Martinez believes Atsu, who had limited playing time for the Blues before leaving for the Nations Cup, can now compete for a first team role.

“We are very pleased for Christian and we were looking forward to having him back,” Martinez told the press. “I think now, with the games that he has had, the signs are very positive that he can come in, compete for his place and help the team.”

He added: “Christian is a very important player for us to have at this stage of the season. Straight away after the final, emotions take over and obviously penalties are a cruel way to lose a game, never mind a tournament.

“But now that everything is settled, Christian personally can be very satisfied. We too are very proud of him here at Everton with his performances.

“His goal against Equatorial Guinea will be a terrific memory and being named Player of the Tournament is not an easy feat, especially if you don’t actually win the competition.”