Christian Atsu: Rafael Benitez knows my situation at Newcastle United

Ghana international Christian Atsu has said that manager Rafael Benitez is well aware of his current situation with Newcastle United and the Spaniard is trying his best to offer him gametime. Atsu was a huge hit during the Magpies’ promotion from the Championship during the 2016/17 season but he has since fallen out of the radar with a nagging knee problem hampering his progress.

Speaking in a news conference, Atsu admitted that he is experiencing a tough period with the Tyneside outfit after undergoing a surgery on a knee injury shortly before the summer World Cup, he said: “I played a lot of games but things have changed this time around because of the surgery I underwent before the World Cup. It has really affected my play because I’ve been a little slow but I’m working hard to hit top form soon. Rafael Benitez understands my situation and he is trying his best for me. In fact, he has in a way adopted me as his son and I regard him as my father too.”

Crystal Palace boss heaps praise on Ghanaian forward

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has expressed the pleasure of having Jordan Ayew in the club’s ranks during the recent league triumph over Huddersfield Town. The South London outfit picked up their second win of the campaign during their recent trip to Yorkshire and Ayew made a notable impact by providing the assist for Wilfried Zaha’s late winner.

Following the game, Hodgson was appreciative of the striker, who made his debut for the club after Christian Benteke sustained an injury, he said: “If we’re going to have the season we would like to have, you need quality players and when they’re not playing you miss them. I thought today we were fortunate to also play Jordan Ayew at centre-forward and bring Cheikhou Kouyate into the team. That served us well today and their work-rate, aggression and determination meant we were able to control large swathes of the game and keep the ball out of our box.”

Rafael Benitez confirms Christian Atsu will remain with Newcastle United

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has revealed Christian Atsu is likely to stay put at St James Park despite the ongoing speculation regarding his future. The Ghana international was dropped to the bench for the recent game against Cardiff City but Benitez has indicated that he won’t be one of the players leaving the club.

Speaking in a news conference, Benitez confirmed the Magpies will trim the squad before the end of the month and Rolando Aarons and Jamie Sterry are among those expected to leave on loan, he said: “Rolando is one of these young players who need to play, and Sterry is another one who we can allow to go on loan because they need minutes.

Christian Atsu awaiting the start of the new season

Ghana international Christian Atsu has revealed his readiness to compete for a regular role with Newcastle United next term after recovering from a successful knee surgery. The attacker picked up the injury during the month of April just days after the Magpies survived relegation with a 2-1 triumph over Leicester City.

Speaking to The Chronicle, he said: “It felt great to be playing a game again and also getting on the scoresheet - and I'm very happy. It's very important for the whole season so I am pleased to be back and mark it with a goal. That's why I am very happy to get surgery out of the way. It means I am back and able to stake my claim for a first-team place. I feel I can compete with anybody that’s in the side.”

Samuel OseiKuffour hails the efforts of Michael Essien

Former Ghana international Samuel OseiKuffour has praised compatriot Michael Essien and believes the midfielder is the best player the country has ever produced. The former Bayern Munich ace played alongside Essien for the Black Stars between 2002 and 2006 and according to him, the 35-year-old had the best understanding of the game among his teammates.

Speaking to Metro TV, he said:“At the 2006 World Cup we (Ghana) believed that we could do something great and we had very good players like Appiah and Essien. And for me, Essien is the best Ghana player I ever played with in the Black Stars. He understands the game and makes it easier for his teammates whenever he is on the field.”

Michael Essien not thinking about retirement

Former Chelsea star Michael Essien has stressed that he has no plans of retiring from beautiful game following his recent release from Persib Bandung. The 35-year-old was once regarded as one of the world’s finest midfielders with Chelsea, where he won two Premier League crowns, four FA Cups and the prestigious Champions League.

Since leaving Stamford Bridge, Essien has experienced a short stint in Greece with Panathinaikos before testing himself in Indonesia with Persib Bandung and he is now prepared to prolong his career with a number of Malaysian clubs after his signature. He told “It's not the end. I have some discussion to do with some clubs. I still want to enjoy a little bit the years ahead of me before I call it done. If a club come from Malaysia, then we'll sit down and talk, then see what happens.”

Persib Bandung president grateful to Michael Essien's dedication

Persib Bandung president Glenn Sugita has expressed his gratitude towards Ghanaian footballer Michael Essien following his release from the Indonesian outfit. The 35-year-old had the option of a year’s extension on his contract with Bandung but the club had no other choice than to release him owing to the foreign player quota.
Based on the new league regulations, only four foreign players are allowed to participate with one of them being compulsorily an Asian and this witnessed the departure of the former Chelsea star.

Speaking after Essien’s release, Sugita said:"We both appreciate the regulation that has been created by PT New Indonesia League, Essien is also very understanding. It's not only Essien's understanding of ending this partnership, more than that, we, especially me, are very thankful for his services so far. His dedication, loyalty, joy, and professionalism that Essien showed so far we appreciate. been with him, and the players at Go-Jek League 1 can take a lot of lessons from Essien's whereabouts. Hopefully this farewell with Essien still brings wisdom to PERSIB and Bobotoh in the future.”

Jose Mourinho Pays Tribute To Michael Essien

Jose Mourinho has paid a tribute to former Chelsea manager Michael Essien in an interview with Malaysian sports channel Astro Supersport. The Portuguese tactician has said that Essien was more than a player to him and he considers himself as ‘his white daddy’ owing to their close relationship at Stamford Bridge.

He said: “He was not my player, he is my son – I am his white daddy. He was probably the only one who took me to his home, to the real home. To the place he was born, to the street where he played football as a kid. He made me fall in love with Ghana, with Accra where he lived, because then I had a better understanding of his mentality.”

Thomas Partey Earns Contract Extension With Atletico Madrid

Ghana international Thomas Partey has been rewarded with a fresh contract at Atletico Madrid. The central midfielder was previously tied to the Spanish giants until the summer of 2021, but he has now been rewarded with a two-year extension.

Speaking on the club’s official website, Partey was delighted to have penned the contract, he said: “I'm thrilled to renew my contract with the club of my life. I hope to continue here for many more years and help the club. I always try to work hard. It's not easy to make the first team and for me, it gives me the pride to continue to work for this club. I see myself well [and] happy because I'm playing a lot more minutes. The team is strong, scoring many goals in the last few games and we are going to keep fighting to remain high up in the standings.”

Injured Michael Essien Trains Alone

An injured Michael Essien trained separately from the rest of the team at Persib Bandung's training session on Tuesday, as per reports. The 35-year old Ghanaian soccer star has been having recurrent fitness issues. He is now a shadow of his former self and not the very fit player he used to be. Despite all these, there are strong links with a move to the Major League Soccer (MLS).


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