Atsu keen to make his mark

Newcastle United

Christian Atsu believes this is the season when he finally starts to make his mark at Newcastle.

The Ghanaian initially joined the club on loan in 2016 and after helping the Magpies to promotion from the Championship, signed the following summer permanently.

During that time he has made just 52 starts for the club, a figure that demonstrates his failure to nail down a regular spot in the starting XI and was even linked with a move away last year.

However, Steve Bruce has given him a chance this season, coming off the bench in the 1-0 win at Tottenham before starting the 1-1 draw against Watford.

With summer signing Allan Saint-Maximin struggling with a hamstring problem, another start could be on the agenda this weekend when the Magpies head to Liverpool on Saturday.

Newcastle will travel to Anfield as the big underdogs but Atsu’s industry in wide areas could provide them with an outlet as they look to trouble the Reds.

European champions Liverpool have won all four of their Premier League games this season and have a proud record against the Tynesiders, not tasting defeat on their own patch in the league since all the way back in November 1994.

A victory would be a big upset and another strong showing would certainly help Atsu’s cause in earning a permanent spot.

The 27-year-old admits consistency has been his main problem since making the switch from Chelsea but feels the tactics employed by Bruce are geared towards finally getting the best out of him on a more regular basis.

“I think this is going to be an important season for me,” said Atsu. I am very happy with the way the team is playing and the way we are trying to press teams – I think that will help with my game.

“The biggest thing for me this season is to be consistent. I’ve had some good performances with Newcastle, but I need to start being more consistent and keeping my standards at the same level through the season.”