Everton have completed the signing of Chelsea’s Ghanaian international Christian Atsu on a season-long deal, but just what kind of player have the Toffees acquired?
Aged 22, the 5ft8in winger has appeared virtually as many times for his national side (26) as he has for any one club side in the league.
Despite having been on the books at Porto and Stamford Bridge, the majority of his football has been played on loan, first at Rio Ave in Portugal, then at Chelsea’s de-facto feeder club Vitesse in Holland.
As such he should be heartened, from a game-time perspective, to have been rented out once more, to a club where Barcelona tyro Gerard Deulofeu enhanced his reputation in 2013/14.
In a sense the pair can be viewed as very similar players, although the Spaniard’s reputation is arguably more elevated and his finishing ability is superior.
Atsu does, however, boast more in the way of top-division senior experience than last season’s star loanee, having sparkled in the Eredivisie last term.
Five goals and six assists was a decent return from 25 starts in which he impressed with his dribbling technique and ability to carry the ball forward with rapidity.
Inside the division’s top ten for opponents dribbled past, his ability to break through opposition lines will offer the Toffees another dimension from the bench.
While the World Cup may not have seen him present a final product worthy of investment in the Dragons’ Den, his Eredivisie form suggests that he can serve the likes of Romelu Lukaku a selection of choice morsels over the season ahead.
Passing accuracy of 86 per cent in the Netherlands is stellar for a man who primarily operated off the starboard bow where finding friends is a more tricky undertaking.
Furthermore an average of 1.5 accurate crosses per game, according to whoscored.com, means he found colleagues with centres as often as Willian or Jesus Navas did last term.
Deulofeu managed to start nine times under Roberto Martinez, despite being unavailable for selection for ten games due to injury.
As such the 51/50 bwin offer about Atsu starting over 8.5 games in the Premier League looks well worth investigation, given Deulofeu would surely have made the XI more often had he remained fit.