Opinion: Newcastle man is reborn this season
Sept. 17, 2019
Five games into the season and Newcastle have four points and sit in 17th place .
However, when you look at the teams, they have faced that is not a bad return and barring one shocking performance at Norwich City , the Toon have not played badly.
One man who has stood out is Christian Atsu who under Steve Bruce looks like a new man.
So far, this season the Ghanaian has provided two assists for his side – compare this to last season where he didn’t manage a single one in 28 games .
Of course, stats don’t always tell the true story, but the 27-year-old has turned in some lively displays since he came on as a substitute in Newcastle’s 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Allan Saint-Maximin went down injured, and Atsu came on – he provided a beautiful ball for Joelinton to score the winner and hasn’t looked back.
In the following match against Watford Atsu was a constant menace down the left and provided numerous chances for his team – including one for Miguel Almiron who should have scored but fluffed his lines.
The former Chelsea man also got the assist for Jetro Willems’ goal on Saturday – as he collected a long ball from Fabian Schar turned and played in the Dutchman who did the rest.
Atsu also provided Emil Krafth with a fantastic opportunity to score, but the Swedish international blazed the ball over the bar.
Many people expected Newcastle’s main creativity to come from Saint-Maximin , Jonjo Shelvey or Almiron , but it is Atsu who is carving out chances for his teammates.
In the summer many Newcastle fans were not bothered about Atsu , but he is proving a lot of people wrong with some stellar performances so far.
The little 27-year-old winger may finally be showing what he can do in the Premier League, and I, for one, am pleased for a player who has always grafted but never had much end product .
Whether it was the added competition or the arrival of Bruce that has changed Atsu no one knows but no one will care as long as he keeps producing good performances for Newcastle.