Soccer News of Tuesday, 26 January 2016
Ghana and Chelsea winger Christian Atsu has swerved Levante to join rival Spanish top-flight side Malaga on loan on Monday – a move predicted by Ghanasoccernet.com 24 hours ago.
The Ghana international joined Malaga on Monday evening despite earlier reports that he was heading to Levante.
With limited opportunities at Stamford Bridge, the 24-year-old has been sent out to gain experience in Spain.
The Ghana international moved to Bournemouth on loan at the beginning of this season, but was recalled by the Blues after failing to make an impact with just two appearances for the Cherries.
The 24-year-old now arrives at the La Rosaleda Stadium for the rest of the season from English side Chelsea in his second loan deal for the season.
Atsu had his first loan spell at English Premier League side Bournemouth terminated after injuries hampered his progress and was believed to be heading to Levante until Malaga swooped.
Atsu will now finish the season in Spain for Malaga, who are currently 12th in the La Liga table.
Last season, the Ghana international had a spell at Everton, where he played in five Premier League games.
When asked about the Ghana international, Chelsea interim boss Hiddink said: “Players who don’t have much of an option to play [at Chelsea], they must get the experience of playing weekly.
“I cannot say much more than this. He is not a young, young player, he is 24 and these guys need to play.”
The likes of Epsnayol, Rayo Vallecano and Levante were all reportedly interested in a deal for Atsu, but the prospect of regular first team football at Malaga looks to have swayed the player.
Malaga’s move to the top of the list is believed to be down to the amount of first-team football they offered the 24-year-old.
Atsu spent the first half of the season on loan with Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Bournemouth, but he failed to make a single league appearance and was restricted to only two starts in the Capital One Cup.
The speedy winger joined Chelsea in the summer of 2013, but is yet to make a first-team appearance and spent a year apiece on loan with Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem and Everton, who he played five Premier League games for in 2014-15.
The former Porto winger has 42 caps for Ghana and his Blues contract expires in the summer of 2018.