Christian Atsu's revealing response to questions on his longer-term future at Newcastle
Christian Atsu says he couldn't feel more at home at Newcastle United as he looks to put an end to years of loans.
Atsu scored his third goal for Newcastle United in midweek.
The winger, on a season-long loan from Chelsea, came off the bench and scored in Wednesday night’s 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic.
Atsu wouldn’t be drawn directly on his future ahead of this afternoon’s Championship game against Burton Albion.
But the 24-year-old – who has had four previous loans away from Chelsea – did admit that he’s ready for a permanent move away from Stamford Bridge at the end of the season.
“For me, I always want to settle,” said Atsu.
“Every year I keep moving on loan to different clubs. It is not easy, and I’m looking to settle. For me, I need to keep working hard.”
Asked about his future, he said: “Newcastle is a big club. I respect them very much right now. I’m here to play football and work hard.
“It is their decision at the end of the season.
“The most important thing is to keep focused on what we want in the Championship.”
Atsu – who had spells at Bournemouth and Malaga last season – quickly settled into life on Tyneside.
“I’m settled,” said the Ghana international. “I’m relaxed with my friends, the coaches and everyone, and also with the fans.
“I’m very happy here in Newcastle.
“I’m getting better each and every game. I keep working hard to help the team.”
Atsu has made five starts and a further 10 substitute’s appearances for Newcastle.
“It’s very important to take every chance, whether it’s 20 minutes, 10 minutes or five minutes,” he said. “I’m always prepared.”
Atsu scored United’s all-important second goal against Wigan at a time when they home side were dominating the game at the DW Stadium.
“I was very happy to score,” said Atsu. “But I was most happy because the team won.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez says it’s “too soon” to make a decision on Atsu’s future.
Benitez said: “We knoew the situation with his contract.
“He’s a really good lad and he is training well.
“There are a lot of positives, but still it is too soon.
“He knows I’m happy with him.”
On working with Benitez, Atsu said: “He’s a great coach and a great human being.
“I’m very pleased to be working with him. He is giving me a lot of confidence on the pitch.”