Christian Atsu reveals his view on being left out of Newcastle United's starting XI
Is it time to for Miguel Almiron to be “pulled out of the firing line” at Newcastle United?
Former Newcastle United head coach John Carver feels that Almiron “has the world on his shoulders”.
And Carver believes that Almiron and summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin are due some “rest” after a challenging few months.
Neither has scored this season, and Almiron’s form, in particular, has come under scrutiny in recent weeks.
Steve Bruce, United’s head coach, doesn’t have too many options, with winger Matt Ritchie now missing until the New Year after undergoing another ankle operation.
The next in line for a start is Christian Atsu, who came off the bench in Monday night’s 2-0 defeat to Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Almiron, signed from Atlanta United for £21million in January, and £16.5million signing Saint-Maximin have pace. But do they have enough guile in the final third of the pitch?
Atsu – who has played 465 minutes of Premier League football this season – has been “patiently” waiting for an opportunity at St James’s Park.
And the 27-year-old does have some guile, having set up two goals this season. It was a clever pass from substitute Atsu that created £40million Joelinton’s only goal for the club so far, the strike against Tottenham Hotspur in August.
Almiron and Saint-Maximin do not yet have any assists, despite many more minutes on the pitch.
Atsu, for his part, is “patiently waiting” for an opportunity. The Ghana international, signed from Chelsea, initially on loan, three years ago, knows that could come sooner rather than later given the amount of games the club has next month.
“I’m working hard,” said Atsu. “I want to start games, because I think I’m in very good shape now. I’m patiently waiting for my chance, because we have, this December, a lot of games coming. I’m preparing for that.”
Next up for Newcastle are Premier League champions Manchester City at St James’s Park on Saturday – and Bruce is contemplating changes. It seems only a matter of time before Atsu gets another chance in the starting XI.