Rafa Benitez says he’s yet to make a decision on the future of Christian Atsu.
The winger scored his fourth goal of the season in Newcastle United’s 2-0 win over Cardiff City last night.
Atsu, on a season-long loan from Chelsea, opened the scoring with a well-struck free-kick early in the second half.
Isaac Hayden added a second goal for Benitez’s promoted side, who are one point behind Championship leaders Brighton.
Atsu hopes to “settle” at a club this summer after a nomadic few years on loan away from Stamford Bridge.
Benitez, however, was coy about Atsu’s future when he was asked about the 25-year-old after his team’s win the Cardiff City Stadium.
“The future of a player doesn’t change with one action or goal,” said Benitez.
“We know that he’s a good player. We have to decide. I’m really pleased with him. We have to see where we are in terms of the squad and all these things.”
Midfielder Hayden scored with a superb left-footed effort in the 65th minute.
And Benitez was pleased to see Hayden and Atsu on the scoresheet given the work they have done on their finishing.
“They (the goals) were very good,” said Benitez. “I’m happy with both, not just because it was a goal or a great goal, but because we have been talking about accuracy and being more clinical in front of goal.”
Meanwhile, Cardiff manager Neil Warnock was unhappy with Sean Morrison’s disallowed goal.
“I though we had some good chances, and finishing those is what you pay for,” said Warnock.
“I’m trying to get more goals in the team. That’s what I’m looking for in the summer.
“I thought we were a bit unlucky. I didn’t see anything wrong with Morrison’s header, it’s a very soft foul.”