Benitez single out Atsu for praise
Newcastle manager, Rafa Benitez, has praised winger, Christian Atsu, for his exceptional performance during their game against Bournemouth.
The 27-year-old Ghanaian came off the bench to help his side to a 2-2 drawn game against Bournemouth on Saturday.
Atsu has not been part Benitez’s starting XI since the arrival of £16million Paraguayan, Miguel Almiron, was drafted from Atlanta United in January.
But Atsu earned the praise of his manager after making a strong impact in their game despite coming on for just 18 minutes to replace Almiron
“Obviously when you see out on the pitch, yes. I want to give credit to Atsu, though. Atsu was on the bench, but he came on and was quite good, and gave an impact to the team,” Benitez replied when asked whether Almiron had helped transform the United side.
“But Atsu is different to Almiron; Almiron has more pace over long distances, and he can make these sprints and run in behind the defenders to make more space for others. I think he’s a different kind of player, but the understanding is quite good between the three of them.
“Also, I think the team as a team is more solid. If you take Almiron out and you put Muto, or you put Atsu, then still the team was doing well.
“I think now all the players know what they have to do, and when you put players in different places, it doesn’t make too much difference because they all know what each one has to do.
“You need them to compete, and then that gives you more chances to be more consistent during the season.”