Christian Atsu’s confirmation as a permanent signing for Newcastle United resulted in a relatively low-key Press conference at the club’s Benton HQ.
After joining Newcastle for £6.2million from Chelsea the completion of the winger’s move in May from the south to the north was supposed to be the start of a domino effect at United.
However, since Atsu’s move from Stamford Bridge was rubber-stamped Toon fans have watched on to see just one new face – Florian Lejeune – take his place for the next phase of the Rafalution.
Despite quietly becoming a Newcastle player on a full-time basis, Atsu has stated he is determined to show the Newcastle faithful – and the rest of the Premier League – that he can cut it at the top level.
With games to come against former clubs like Chelsea, Bournemouth and Everton he certainly starts the season with a point to prove.
And it’s worth noting that he is part of a hungry squad at United with many of the current players eager to show the world they are Premier League standard.
Atsu said: “Everybody is working hard and running. We have to give our best.
“Yes, we have the same manager but this is not the same season so everybody has to fight for their position in the team. All the guys are working hard.
“I am pleased to see we are together like last season.”
Speaking about his own prospects in the top division, Atsu said: “I am very happy to get back to the Premier League with Newcastle.
“Everything now depends on me. It’s down to the player now.
“I need to work hard now and try to be better than I was before. I always want to improve myself
“I have to keep working hard and being consistent for the team. I have a lot to improve this season. The Premier League has a lot of quality.
“This season will be hard for us so we have to work harder than last season. We have to make sure we improve and try to compete with everybody in the Premier League.”
Benitez is still trying hard to bring in another winger with Jacob Murphy currently in talks with Norwich City to try to secure a release to the club he supported as a boy.
“The fact he called me shows me respect and I have to repay him for that. When the season finished I went back to Chelsea and I was waiting for a week.
“I hoped and prayed that Newcastle would take up the option. I had my dream came true. I wanted to be with this team.”
Atsu’s Championship title medal is proudly on display in his house in Ghana but, like the rest of the squad, he is eager to add to it.
The winger said: “The last trophy I won is always the most important but you want to move forward and win more.
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