Darren Bent suggested that Newcastle United attacker Christian Atsu was frustrated over his lack of playing time but probably accepts why he isn’t featuring much.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Laura O’Leary, the former Sunderland and Tottenham striker shared he could understand why Atsu would be frustrated as he pointed out everything was going against him at the moment with the Magpies picking up results without him.

Atsu has featured in all of the Magpies’ last 10 Premier League matches, however, he has been reduced to small cameo appearances in his last five outings.

Bent stated that with the 27-year-old winger preferring to play out wide then Miguel Almiron or Allan Saint-Maximin would need to be dropped for Atsu to be accommodated.

The ex-Premier League attacker explained that both Almiron and Saint-Maximin were both playing well, so axing them wasn’t a viable option for Steve Bruce.

When asked about Atsu’s playing time drying up in recent weeks, Bent told Football Insider: “It’s tough as where do you play him?

“You’ve got Saint-Maximin one side and Almiron the other side, who hasn’t got that goal yet, but he’s still creating, he could score and he is a still threat.

“Atsu likes to play out wide so that means you have to drop one of them and at the minute he can’t get in, he can’t be played as a centre-forward as they have Joelinton there so it’s tough.

“I can understand his frustration but I think deep down he’ll probably look around and accept it and the team are also picking up results, so it’s all going against him at the minute.”

Despite Atsu’s playing time being limited at St James Park this season, the winger has still managed to contribute two assists in his 10 league outings.

The 27-year-old Ghana international has been with the Magpies on a permanent basis since 2017 after joining from Chelsea.

In other Newcastle United news, Paul Robinson has named three players in the running for the vacant captain’s armband.