Roberto Martinez captures Chelsea’s Christian Atsu
Everton, 13/2 for a top four finish, have snapped up Chelsea starlet Christian Atsu on a season-long loan. The former Porto player, who will wear the number 19 shirt for the Toffees, joined the Stamford Bridge outfit in 2013, but spent last term at Chelsea feeder club Vitesse Arnhem.
Atsu, 22, dazzled for Ghana at the World Cup, where he made three appearances for his country. Capped 26 times in total, the young winger has scored five international goals, and attracted attention from Europe’s elite with his skill, trickery and pace.
The rapid wingman joined Porto aged just 17, and enjoyed a temporary spell at Rio Ave in 2001/12, where he illustrated an eye for goal, netting six times and providing four assists in 27 league appearances. Atsu then went on to make 17 first- team outings for the Dragons in the following season, before Chelsea swooped for the Black Stars prodigy.
After the African wideman joined for a reported fee of £3.5m, and signed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge, Blues boss Jose Mourinho is apparently keen to see what the Ghanaian can do in the Premier League. A loan stint at a club challenging for a Champions League spot seems to be the ideal solution for all parties, with Atsu unlikely to get playing time in west London.
Chelsea are currently well-stocked in their attacking midfield and wing positions, with superstars such as Eden Hazard and World Cup winner Andre Schurrle blocking the way.
Everton, meanwhile, are still looking to add exciting attacking talent to their ranks ahead of their first Premier League kick-off against freshly promoted Leicester City. Toffees boss Roberto Martinez has already concluded successful business with Chelsea during the transfer window, smashing Everton’s club record with a £28m deal for sensational striker Romelu Lukaku.
Atsu will become Martinez’s fifth summer signing, following Gareth Barry, Muhamed Besic, Brendan Galloway and Romelu Lukaku to Goodison Park. The Catalan coach, 13/8 to lead the Toffees to a top six finish, spoke about making further additions in offence prior to Lukaku and Atsu’s transfer, stating he expected several new forwards to join the Merseyside club.
Speaking recently he reiterated his hopes for further additions:
“We still need one or two, depending on how quickly Arouna Kone and Bryan Oviedo recover from their injuries.”
After spending such a significant outlay on Belgium poacher Lukaku, it is likely that any further acquisitions will be in the mould of Atsu’s temporary switch, with Martinez keen to add promising young talent to his squad.