Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Newcastle United Winger Is On Watford’s Radar: Should The Magpies Cut Him Loose This Month?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

The Chronicle has recently reported that Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu is on Watford’s radar ahead of the domestic transfer deadline on October 16. It is understood that the Hornets want the Ghanaian wide player with the Magpies likely to sell him this month (via The Chronicle).

Atsu’s Growing Struggles At St. James’ Park Of Late

The 28-year-old assumed a sporadic role in Steve Bruce’s match-day squad last season but did well to be creative despite the lack of game time on the field. Atsu picked up five assists and two yellow cards in 24 matches for the Tyneside outfit in the previous campaign across various competitions.

The Ada Foah-born speedster struggled to be fruitful with his contributions in the attacking third after he averaged 0.3 shots, 0.7 key passes and 0.8 dribbles per game in the Premier League. However, he was relatively tidy when distributing possession in the opposition half as evident from his pass completion rate of 80.3% in the English first division last season (stats via whoscored).

Atsu needs more game time if he wants to make the most out of his time remaining in English football. Hence, a switch to Vicarage Road could be an attractive proposition for him to consider before the transfer deadline later this month.

Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu is on Watford's radar (Atsu is seen in the photo)
Rochdale’s English defender Luke Matheson (L) vies with Newcastle United’s Ghanaian midfielder Christian Atsu during the English FA Cup third round football match between Rochdale and Newcastle at the Crown Oil Arena in Rochdale, north-west England on January 4, 2020. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

What Are The Ghanaian Wide Player’s Strengths And Weaknesses?

Atsu has a lot of raw pace in his locker but is not the greatest dribbler with the ball as he can often get dispossessed in the opposition half. He has not scored any goals for the Magpies over the past 12 months but has managed to make himself a creative influence for them in the final third. The former FC Porto ace is also highly versatile as he can operate in any position across the frontline.

The 60-time Ghanaian international has got terrific balance and can make a few clever turns inside the opponent’s penalty box but is in dire need to add more end-product to his game if he wants to be successful in the future.

Should Steve Bruce Cut Atsu Loose This Month?

Newcastle have currently got a plethora of attacking options in their squad with the likes of Allan Saint-Maximin, Miguel Almiron, Matt Ritchie, Jeff Hendrick and Ryan Fraser all fighting for a place on the flanks in Steve Bruce’s starting XI.

Therefore, it is clear as day that Atsu is surplus to requirements at the Tyneside club, so it is only logical for both the player and the club to part ways with each other permanently before the domestic transfer window slams shut next week.

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