Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Player profile: Royal Blue Everton reports on Christian Atsu

While I had seen a few goals that Christian Atsu had scored during the Africa Cup of Nations for Ghana,Atsu has not been a name that I knew much about. Having felt that he was going to sign for the Cherries from a number of sources, I thought it would be of interest to see if we could find out a little bit more about his strengths and weaknesses and a few days ago I managed to catch up with Kenneth Jarvi who writes Royal Blue Everton. He kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the young Ghanaian.
WhoScored.com has been checking out Christian Atsu's stats.
CC: When Christian Atsu came to Everton did you expect high things of him having come from Chelsea?

RBE: I had watched Atsu play well at the World Cup before we signed him on loan and thought he was an exciting young player. I thought he could have a great impact as Gerard Deulofeu did for us the season before, and hoped at that stage we'd have a purchase option as we're crying out for wingers.

CC: He has scored some spectacular goals for Ghana so do you think he got a fair run of it at Everton and would you have liked to have kept him for longer?

RBE: He absolutely did not get a fair run, however his injuries and the African Cup Of Nations came at really inconvenient times for Everton so it was hard to give him opportunities before February. He has brilliant potential but I'd ideally like to have a permanent transfer, which wasn't an option with Atsu. I wish he was played more as he could of done well, he's an extremely exciting player and the exact player we need.

CC: What would you say is the weakest part of his game where he needs to improve?

RBE:  The weakest part of his game is pretty much the same as any young winger. Inconsistent and poor decision making. When I've watched him for Ghana however, his strengths far outweigh his weaknesses. We didn't see the real him at Everton I feel. The type of player who could win you one match and go missing the next.

CC: Do you think he could still do well in the Premier League?

RBE: Absolutely, I think he has potential Champions League quality and will hopefully show that for Bournemouth. I think his short time in the Premier League will serve him well for a full season. 

He only showed glimpses at Everton. The Atsu of Ghana is brilliant! Hope he plays well for you.He started and played poorly (nothing coming off) when we lost 5-2 to Kiev as well in our most important match of the season, so I think things like that stick in some fans' memories.
CC: I imagine Christian is most at home on the right wing but was he tried in different positions at Everton and did he ever tackle back and help out his full back much?

RBE: I'd say he puts in an average shift which is similar to most wingers, as in he'll fulfil his defensive duties but won't go above and beyond. I never felt he left his full back isolated.

CC: Is his best asset simply pace or is there more to his game than that?

RBE: A lot more too his game. He has good ball control and a fantastic shot. I think he'll get Bournemouth fans on the edge of your seat. I was really annoyed at Martinez for not giving him more opportunities but Martinez was all over the place his highlighted by the fact Osman was played ahead of Mirallas, let alone Atsu. I think he's a great signing for you.

CC: Aaron Lennon (who English fans know well) was signed in January by Everton and pretty much kept Christian out of the team, but are they similar in ability or is Lennon much better in your opinion? 

RBE: Lennon is experienced now and think Martinez could trust him. Also there will be an option to buy him so there was the long term vision in playing him. Lennon is better than Atsu now but Atsu has the potential to be a lot better. He was in good form and had a huge work rate, I saw a better Aaron Lennon at Everton than I'd ever seen as Spurs. He was played ahead of Mirallas, Atsu and Pienaar.

CC: We saw a great goal celebration with his teammates in the Africa Cup of Nations but do you think he bonded well with the Everton squad?

RBE: Can't compare with Everton as we didn't have anything to celebrate! That being said, Atsu never kicked up a fuss about playing time and was happily seen in photos at our end of season awards. Seems a good player in the dressing room. I think it's a real shame it didn't work out for us, I think our loss will be your gain.

CC: I was pleased to hear some of those replies from Ken as I had heard that Christian Atsu had not been considered a success by many Everton fans. While he might have wished he had done better at Goodison there is no doubting his talent when you see him playing in a Ghanaian shirt. Hopefully Christian settles quickly and perhaps brings the best out in one of our other African signings - Tokelo Rantie. If Eddie Howe can get the best out of Christian it sounds like he could be a player to really bring the Premier League alive!

Make sure you have a closer look at  Royal Blue Everton who has some match reports of Everton's European adventures last season. We have a lot of new Premier League Blogs to check out next season. Thanks again Ken for some great feedback of Christian Atsu.

Premier Talk looks at Watford's problems over their managerial movements - visit Premier Talk to see who their new signing is as well.

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