Sky Sports pundit Darren Bent has suggested that Christian Atsu might be frustrated by his lack of game-time for Newcastle United this season.
Atsu, 27, has made 11 appearances in all competitions for the Magpies but has only started four times in the Premier League with all of his other outings coming via the bench.
Bent cannot see a way back into the starting line-up for Atsu at the moment with Allan Saint-Maximin and Miguel Almiron both holding down their spots out wide.
Speaking to Football Insider, Bent said: “It’s tough as where do you play him?
“You’ve got Saint-Maximin one side and Almiron the other side, who hasn’t got that goal yet, but he’s still creating, he could score and he is a still threat.
“Atsu likes to play out wide so that means you have to drop one of them and at the minute he can’t get in, he can’t be played as a centre-forward as they have Joelinton there so it’s tough.
“I can understand his frustration but I think deep down he’ll probably look around and accept it and the team are also picking up results, so it’s all going against him at the minute.”
Atsu did well when he first came into the Newcastle side earlier on this season but now that Saint-Maximin is fully fit, he is struggling to get game-time. That was expected. Atsu has not been anywhere near a world-beater at Newcastle but he is a good squad player. Unfortunately, being a squad player means that you have to wait for injuries and suspensions to come into play before having a really good shot at playing in the first-team. Atsu did not do too bad when he started those four games, but he did not do enough to show that he should be starting over Saint-Maximin on a regular basis. Imagine Mike Ashley’s reaction of Saint-Maximin and Almiron – two of the club’s most expensive players in history – were dropped for the former Chelsea attacker. There’s no way he would be happy with Steve Bruce if that happened. Atsu needs to remain patient.