Friday, September 29, 2023

Watford & Nottingham Forest Interested In Taking Newcastle United Ace On Loan: Good Move For Both Parties?

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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.

In a recent report, The Chronicle has revealed that Newcastle United are expecting Christian Atsu to go out on loan with Watford and Nottingham Forest eager to sign him on a temporary basis before the domestic transfer window slams shut on October 16. It is understood that the Ghanaian winger is currently surplus to requirements at St. James’ Park, so Steve Bruce is looking to sanction his loan departure along with Achraf Lazaar, Henri Saivet and Rolando Aarons to reduce his wage bill and save around £100,000 per week this season (via The Chronicle).

Atsu’s Mounting Frustrations At Newcastle

Atsu was only used as a squad player at the Tyneside club last season which has hampered his progress on the field. However, the Ghanaian speedster still managed to be a creative influence in Bruce’s starting XI after making 24 appearances for the Magpies last season, securing five assists and two yellow cards on all fronts.

However, the 28-year-old struggled to give a good account of himself consistently as he averaged 0.3 shots, 0.7 key passes and 0.8 dribbles per match in the previous Premier League campaign. However, he distributed the ball with a lot of conviction in the decisive end of the field as evident from his pass success rate of 80.3% in league football (stats via whoscored).

Atsu needs to consider making a switch away from Tyneside in search of more first-team football, so dropping down to the EFL Championship for a season could help him rediscover some form and be relevant in English football once again.

Newcastle United expect Christian Atsu to go out on loan (Atsu is seen in the photo)
Christian Atsu of Newcastle United during the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Newcastle United at Molineux on January 11, 2020, in Wolverhampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

What Does The Ghanaian International Bring To The Table?

Atsu boasts electric pace but can throw away possession far too often when dribbling with the ball in the final third. He has failed to score a goal in competitive football over the past year, which has left his confidence in tatters. Even then, the Ghanaian sensation deserves a little bit of credit for keeping his chin down and working hard in the training ground. He has terrific balance and agility which he can use to make a few promising runs in the offensive end of the pitch.

Letting Atsu Go Out On Loan: Good Move For Both Parties?

However, Steve Bruce needs to let Atsu leave on loan so that he can run down the remainder of his Newcastle contract, which expires at the end of this campaign. The Magpies are in dire need to reduce their wage bill so that they are in a better financial position next summer.

For that to happen, they have to trim the squad, starting with Atsu, who has failed to live up to the high expectations surrounding his move from Chelsea in the summer of 2017. The 60-time Ghanaian international’s loan departure will be a good move for both the player and the Tyneside club as it will finally give them a chance to move on in search of greener pastures.

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