By Danny Wright

29th Apr, 2017 | 8:15pm

Benitez responds when asked if Newcastle will sign 25-year-old attacker

By Danny Wright

Rafa Benitez has remained tight-lipped over the possibility of signing Christian Atsu on a permanent deal.

The 25-year-old has been in hot form for the Magpies this season after moving to the North-East on a loan deal from Chelsea last summer.

Newcastle secured their return to the Premier League on Monday before Atsu scored in the 2-0 win against Cardiff on Friday night to keep their hopes of winning the Championship title alive.

The Toon Army have urged their club to sign the winger up in the summer after a spate of impressive performances for their club, but Benitez insists that a decision is yet to be made.

When asked about Atsu’s future at St. James’ Park, Benitez was quoted by the Shields Gazette as saying: “The future of a player doesn’t change with one action or goal.

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“We know that he’s a good player. We have to decide. I’m really pleased with him. We have to see where we are in terms of the squad and all these things.”

Atsu has made 34 appearances for Newcastle across all competitions this season, scoring five goal and supplying three assists.

He has been a Chelsea player since signing from Porto in 2013, but has never made an appearance for the Premier League club.

Instead, he has been sent out on five different loan spells to clubs including Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth and Malaga.

Atsu has made 53 appearances for the Ghana national team, scoring 10 goals.

Football Insider Verdict

The Ghanaian winger is unfortunately a prime example of how Chelsea’s loan system is so controversial. At 25-years-of-age, you would have expected Atsu to have begun to settle down somewhere but instead he is being shipped out to different clubs across Europe, and that is something Newcastle should take advantage of. Atsu is a player that should be playing in the Premier League at this stage of his career and he’s proved that he’s too good for the second-tier in his loan spell at St. James’ Park. Benitez must stop beating around the bush and make an emphatic decision on whether or not he will sign the winger.

In other Newcastle news, fans have reacted on Twitter to Sunderland’s relegation to the Championship.

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