Watford signing this 28-year-old Newcastle outcast would be quite a useful signing for Ivic


Why Christian Atsu would be a smart signing for Watford in January

Back in October, a report from the Watford Observer had mentioned Watford among the potential suitors for out-of-favour Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu. It was claimed that the Hornets had made a loan approach for the Ghanaian international but he eventually ended up staying put at Tyneside despite being omitted from the Magpies’ 25-man Premier League squad for the season.

Atsu’s long-term future at Newcastle looks bleak though, with the 28-year-old’s contract set to expire next summer. Hence, the door remains open for the attacker to seek a move away from St. James’ Park in January to start playing regular first-team football once again. 


A youth exponent of FC Porto, Christian Atsu spent time on loan at Rio Ave before making his first-team debut for the Portuguese heavyweights during the 2012-13 season. He made 31 appearances in all competitions in his only senior campaign at the Estadio do Dragao as Porto won the Primeira Liga title.

Atsu joined Chelsea in 2013 but was immediately loaned out to Vitesse Arnhem in the Dutch Eredivisie. The winger enjoyed a productive stint in the Netherlands but failed to live up to the expectations on his subsequent loan spells at Everton and Bournemouth in the Premier League, as well as Malaga in Spain. 

Christian Atsu has fallen down the pecking order at Newcastle United (Getty Images)
Christian Atsu has fallen down the pecking order at Newcastle United (Getty Images)

The Ghanaian was loaned out to Newcastle United in 2016 and went on to play a key role, accumulating 5 goals and 3 assists in 32 Championship appearances as the Magpies won promotion to the Premier League at the first time of asking. Atsu completed a permanent move to Newcastle in 2017, thus marking an end to his ill-fated spell at Stamford Bridge without a single competitive appearance.

However, Atsu hasn’t really managed to pull up any trees with his mediocre displays in the Premier League over the past few years. The winger has managed a lacklustre tally of 3 goals and 5 assists in 75 top-flight appearances for the Magpies.

Atsu, though, has enjoyed a lot more success with Ghana on the international front, representing the Black Stars at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and in four editions of the Africa Cup of Nations.

Atsu would add more depth to the Hornets’ attack

Watford are very much in the race for automatic promotion after a solid start to life back in the Championship. Indeed, Vladimir Ivic’s side have laid down a strong platform to push for a return to the top-flight at the first time of asking.

The manager, though, certainly has some food for thought ahead of the January window. Watford have managed only 21 goals in 17 games so far, which is currently the joint second-worst scoring record among the top-ten sides in the division. 

Christian Atsu (Getty Images)
Christian Atsu in action for Ghana (Getty Images)

Joao Pedro has been the top-scorer for the side with 5 goals but the likes of Troy Deeney, Andre Gray and Glenn Murray haven’t really chipped in with any significant contributions.

Ismaila Sarr remains a key cog in Watford’s attack but bolstering the ranks with some additional firepower in January would undoubtedly aid the Hornets’ promotion push in the latter half of the campaign.

Watford should line up a cut-price swoop for Christian Atsu when the market reopens next month. The Ghanaian was one of the cornerstones of Newcastle’s promotion glory in the Championship in 2016-17 and his experience could come in handy for the Hornets. 

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Regarded as a top prospect in his younger days, Christian Atsu hasn’t really delivered on his potential at the highest level. But his versatility to operate in multiple positions across the forward line should still make him a quality addition to a Watford side that has often struggled for goals in the Championship.