Christian Atsu is one of the horde of 30-something Chelsea players out on loan for all eternity. After impressing at Portugal’s Rio Ave, Chelsea shelled out £3.5 million for the 21-year-old Ghanaian winger and immediately loaned him to the extremely Chelsea-friendly confines of Vitesse Arnhem.
He played well there, but not well enough to make Pedro or Willian fear for their Chelsea careers. So off Atsu went, making loan stops at Everton, Bournemouth and Malaga while making headlines at the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations by scoring this banger.
After a year away from the spotlight (unless you include Jonjo Shelvey’s ban for racially abusive language, rumors of a fallout between Rafa Benitez and the boardroom over a lack of January spending and some other stuff), Newcastle United are back in the big leagues. We know you all missed the never-ending soap opera that is Newcastle, don't pretend you didn't.
For me, August can’t come soon enough, and you should be excited too. Here are 10 reasons to be stoked over the Toon’s return to the Premier League.
Newcastle United's policy of purchasing young French players and selling them for a massive profit came to end following last year’s relegation. That embarrassing demise, Newcastle’s second relegation in only eight years, proved that the club’s model of operating was disastrously shortsighted.
For every revelation that chief scout Graham Carr discovered on the cheap in Ligue 1 (Hatem Ben Arfa, Yohan Cabaye, Moussa Sissoko and Mathieu Debuchy), there were the counterpoints of Sylvain Marveaux, Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Emmanuel Riviera and Remy Cabella.
In a game with massive implications at both ends of the table in the English Championship (Newcastle United aiming for promotion and the title, Burton Albion trying to avoid relegation), match referee Keith Stroud simply and utterly messed up. He and his assistants, for whatever reason, didn’t know the rules and for a long period of time chaos reigned at St. James’ Park.
With the scores level at 0-0 in the 30th-minute, Stroud pointed to the spot after Dwight Gayle was tripped in the area.
Newcastle United travelled to Brighton & Hove Albion’s Amex Stadium for a match between first and second in the English Championship. With the top two sides in the division earning automatic promotion to the Premier League, matches really don’t get any bigger than this.
Albion took the lead through Glenn Murray after Murray, Newcastle’s Ciaran Clark and goalkeeper Karl Darlow all clashed together in a clusterf**k of cliche Championship football, the referee pointing to spot.
After spending £6.5 million on Belgian Matz Sels in the offseason but watching him commit a series of high-profile errors to start the campaign, Newcastle United turned to 26-year-old goalkeeper Karl Darlow to steady the ship.
Darlow has since been great in net for the league league leaders, but he undoubtedly suffered the worst moment of his career in Newcastle’s 2-2 draw with Norwich City on Tuesday.