Instead of giving Christian Atsu more minutes, Newcastle United should allow Thomas Allan to take his chance.
Newcastle United have struggled with depth for portions of this season as injuries have piled up. With that lack of quality depth, the club has not had a lot of impact players available on the bench. Christian Atsu is often one of the players that Steve Bruce brings off the bench to add some attacking presence. The winger reportedly rejected a move to Celtic within the last few weeks and wants to make an impact with NUFC.
But, the winger has zero goals and only three assists in 18 Premier League appearances. He obviously has a lot of pace and brings energy, but he’s limited in his creativity, not clinical with his shooting or passing, and frustrates his teammates when he makes the wrong play in the final moments. Rather than put Atsu out there with those limitations, I think Steve Bruce should give Thomas Allan more opportunities in the FA Cup and the Premier League.
The 20-year-old winger has played primarily for the reserve side in the Premier League 2. He made a quick impact in Newcastle’s 3rd round replay vs. Rochdale, tallying an assist and showing some speed and playmaking ability. There’s no guarantee he’s the next Sean or Matty Longstaff, but those players only became who they are because they were given a chance.
While he’s been on the bench for two Premier League matches this season, he has not appeared in the top flight yet. I’m not suggesting he should be starting, but late in matches, Allan should get a chance instead of Atsu. The club is moving closer to safety in the EPL and that should give Steve Bruce more leeway to play the young player rather than the 28-year-old that has less than 18 months left on his contract with the Magpies.