Everton FC boss Roberto Martinez has predicted big things from summer loan signing Christian Atsu.
The on-loan winger has struggled to make an impact so far, starting just one league game and only providing Blues fans with fleeting glimpses of his potential from the bench.
But the Spaniard says the Blues should keep the faith in the Ghana international as he adapts to a new league.
“We need to give him a little bit of time to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League just like any player but especially a winger,” said Martinez.
“But I think the way he has adapted to the way we want to play so far has been impressive. He’s an intelligent footballer.”
Here’s nine reasons for Evertonians to keep the faith.
He’s good in the final third
At Vitesse last season, Atsu managed 65 shots in front of goal – 27 outside the area – with an accuracy of 56%. He also scored five league goals in 28 appearances.
He’s good at creating, too
Despite just 27 league starts, Atsu created 1.75 chances per game – putting him in the Eredivise’s top 10 for last season. He was also in the league’s top 10 for successful dribbles, beating his man an average of 1.93 times per game; his 70% success rate was also more than the likes of Memphis Depay and Viktor Fischer. He also contributed towards five direct assists.
He knows all the moves to YMCA
He comes from a good footballing background
Before his move to Portuguese giants Porto, Atsu grew up on the books of Feyenoord Ghana – the biggest football academy in Ghana and, unsurprisingly, with strong links to Dutch club Feyenoord.
Not sure how much thought went into the badge, mind you.
He scored this goal for Vitesse
Wasn’t it lovely?
He is absolutely rapid
This is him in action against Paris St-Germain.
He also has an acceleration rating of 94 on Fifa 15, which is highly scientific and completely and utterly reflects real life.
He isn’t happy to sit on the bench
The 22-year-old demanded more playing time under Porto coach Vítor Pereira – although that was ultimately his downfall at the Portuguese club.
But he is also a realist
Speaking to the BBC in September 2012, Atsu revealed: “[Lionel] Messi is my idol. There’s no Ghanaian Messi, there is no other Messi in this world.
“I can never play even one percent of what Messi is doing. It’s impossible.”
He was really good at the World Cup
He only had three games, but Atsu was a star for Ghana. He ran a total of 29.6km – the same as Yaya Toure – and reached a top speed of 30.3km per hour. That was faster than Toure, Andre Schurrle and Cristiano Ronaldo.
And Ronaldo is dead, dead fast.