Despite only being crowned Championship winners last weekend, it appears Rafa Benitez is already planning for next season at Newcastle United.
Usually, such a triumph is followed by a short break as players, fans and the board celebrate and regroup before preparing for the campaign ahead. But Benitez is reportedly eyeing up transfer targets, starting with current loanee – Christian Atsu.
That’ll be music to the ears of fans on Tyneside, who have certainly taken to the Ghanaian since his arrival at St James’ Park last August.
Chelsea (Atsu’s parent club) will of course have been keeping a close eye on the forward throughout the season, although fans of the Magpies needn’t panic…
Having arrived at Stamford Bridge some four years ago, the 25-year-old is yet to feature for the Blues in a competitive fixture. That hasn’t been the case at Newcastle though, where he’s played some 32 times.
It would certainly be a step in the right direction for Newcastle in their attempt to establish themselves as a solid Premier League outfit – especially when you consider that Atsu looks to have replaced Sammy Ameobi.
Even though he’s been with Newcastle since leaving school in 2008, he’s managed just two goals in 56 outings for his boyhood club. With that in mind, it’s likely that when the transfer window opens in the summer, Ameobi will leave.
But the question is: will Atsu be his permanent replacement?
One potential banana skin for the Magpies to deal with might be the level of demand for the man with five goals and three assists to his name this season.
He’s already played in four different countries in Europe for eight different clubs, including Portuguese side Porto and Dutch outfit Vitesse Arnhem.
However, he’s become a real fan favourite at St James’ Park, so he may lean towards the idea of staying put. But were that not to be the case, it’d hardly be a shock to see him shipped out on loan for another year by the Blues.
What do fans think? Would Atsu be a good signing for Newcastle on a permanent basis, or should he be given a chance to impress at his parent club?
Have your say in the comments section below!
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