Christian Atsu hints at concern for his place on his return to Newcastle

Christian Atsu says the African Cup Nations needs to be moved '“ as he tournament jeopardises the careers of players.

Christian Atsu
Christian Atsu

Atsu, on a season-long loan at Newcastle United from Chelsea, is preparing for the tournament with his Ghana team-mates.

The 25-year-old is hoping to earn a permanent move to St James's Park in the summer.

However, Atsu feels AFCON can work against African players given that it is held midway through the European season.

Atsu told TV3: “I think this goes to CAF (Confederation of African Football) because they need to realise that when a player is doing well and goes to AFCON in January, when they come back, there is someone playing in their position and if that person is playing good it is difficult to win it back.

“CAF needs to do something about the tournament in January. It needs to be moved to the end of the season. For me when the season ends, a lot more people can watch the AFCON because there is no football. There will be more scouts, more fans and that would mean bigger exposure for African football."

Atsu – who has scored three goals so far this season – has been competing with Matt Ritchie for a place in Rafa Benitez's team this season.