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Taking to Twitter yesterday, he revealed that this summer would call an end to his five-year stay at St James’ Park following the expiration of his contract.
How many goals did Atsu score for Newcastle?
His free-kick against Cardiff City in 2017 as Rafa Benitez’s side made a late run for the Championship title just as it looked as if Brighton would pip them will live long in the memory, though he’s largely been a peripheral figure for the past few seasons.
Indeed, he hadn’t made a first-team appearance since playing six minutes of a 5-0 loss away at Manchester City in July 2020 and he only made 19 appearances under the management of Steve Bruce. While he was brought back into the club’s 25-man Premier League squad earlier this year, Atsu hadn’t actually registered a goal involvement for the club since winning a free-kick which Jonjo Shelvey then scored in a dramatic 2-2 draw with City in 2019.
Is this a good thing for Newcastle?
Given the fact Atsu was earning a reported (via SpotRac) £30k-per-week with little return for the club, you’d have to say so.
Back in September 2020, The Athletic revealed the club were spending up to £5m on deadwood and, with the likes of Achraf Lazaar, DeAndre Yedlin and Ronaldo Aarons also leaving, some room could potentially be made on the wage bill.
What did Rafa Benitez say about Atsu?
Upon signing the player on a permanent basis in 2017, former Toon boss Rafa Benitez praised the deal.
“We are happy to sign a good player,” he said to the club’s official website.
“Christian has been a key part of our promotion campaign and he wants to help us to build something for the future.”