Sky Sports’ Keith Downie is reporting Newcastle have opened talks with Christian Atsu to make his loan move permanent. It was reported after he signed on loan last summer that there was a view to a permanent deal at the end of the season, and it appears the club will activate that clause for a fee of £6.2 million.
It seems a pretty sensible move from all sides. Atsu wasn’t perfect, but has proved to be a good squad player, and six million is pretty nominal in today’s market. His season was a little up and down. After some promising early season performances he went a little quiet when called upon for the full 90 minutes in the winter months. However, as Newcastle were chasing promotion, he moved ahead of Yoan Gouffran and became the preferred starting winger with Matt Ritchie. That proved to be a smart move as he was vital against Preston, and followed that up with the fantastic free kick against Cardiff.
Assuming Gouffran leaves on a free this summer, we can expect Newcastle to be in for another wide player, hopefully a key member of the starting eleven. That would leave Atsu as a good option off the bench as his pace and direct play can cause trouble for tiring backlines at the end of matches. His Premier League stint with Everton wasn’t special, but finally finding a permanent home and role should help a lot.
Overall, there is little risk making Atsu a permanent Newcastle player, he’s cheap, he bring much needed to pace to a slow squad and he’s entering what should be the prime of his career. It’s a smart first move of what should be a bust transfer window this summer.