COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Christian Atsu should come straight into the Newcastle first team after completing his deadline-day move from Chelsea.
The 24-year-old winger joined on a season-long loan deal with the Magpies having the option to make the deal a permanent move next summer.
The versatile forward can play on the right, centre and left and manager Rafa Benitez will be keen to include him within his attack, possibly at the expense of attacking trio Ayoze Perez, Yoan Gouffran and Aleksandar Mitrovic.
It seems likely that Ghana international Atsu will slot on the left-hand-side of the Magpies’ front-line and immediately replace Gouffran, who has begun the season in the team with fellow left-winger Rolando Aarons set to spend a duration on the sidelines with a foot injury.
Other summer signings Matt Ritchie and Mohamed Diame will make up the sides attacking trio.
Remarkably centre-back duo Jamaal Lascelles and Chancel Mbemba have retained their spots in Benitez’s defence in the early stages of the season over new signings Grant Hanley and Ciaran Clark, who cost £10.5million between them.
New signings DeAndre Yedlin and Achraf Lazaar will make up the defence replacing the departed Daryl Janmaat and academy graduate Paul Dummett.
Isaac Hayden and Jonjo Shelvey appear to have locked down the central midfield positions with the talented duo keeping Jack Colback to a position on the club’s bench.
Dwight Gayle and Ritchie were brought to the club for eight-figure fees and were the clubs two most expensive signings after stepping down from the Premier League, but Gayle will have to keep on his toes with Aleksandar Mitrovic waiting for an opportunity to step into the side.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper signing Matz Sels will also be wary that he has two experienced Championship shot stoppers waiting behind him in Karl Darlow and Rob Elliot.
The squad boasts an incredible amount of depth in it’s side for England’s second-tier and if a first team member does suffer with an injury Benitez can still call on the likes of Jesus Gamez, Daryl Murphy, Vurnon Anita and Ayoze Perez.
In other Newcastle team news, Sammy Ameobi has joined Bolton on loan.