Facing a demoralized Brighton & Hove Albion, Christian Atsu was handed the perfect opportunity to win over Rafa Benitez.
The Spaniard decided to shuffle up his system, handing Atsu a place in attack to prove his worth in the squad without the injured Miguel Almiron.
However, what Newcastle received instead was a broken shell of a lost talent. Indeed, Atsu had the opportunity to win back a place in the lineup, but his utterly disappointing performance means he might not even make many appearances afterwards.
Brighton were sloppy in defence and showcased complete lack of pressure in allowing the Magpies to dominate proceedings. As a result, Atsu found himself in promising positions with no pressing. Yet, rather than creating chances for Salomon Rondon or in-form Ayoze Perez, he played like a passenger. His passes were predictable, he missed that creative spark, barely threatened them with his pace and never fazed Matt Ryan in goal.
The Ghanaian’s drought in attack continued and in 26 appearances now, 13 of which have been starts, he’s yet to score or assist a goal this season. Benitez has showcased surprising faith in his talents, but he’s never repaid it. With another dismal performance at the weekend, where he created zero chances, took one shot an was dispossessed twice (stats via Fotmob), Atsu proved he isn’t Premier League worthy anymore.
At certain points, Atsu seemed almost clueless in what to do with possession. He’s lost that cutting edge or hunger which made him great in the Championship and should justifiably be sold after flopping badly this season.
Newcastle fans, would you be disappointed with Atsu’s potential departure next season? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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