Ghanian international and Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu is top of the list after putting in some valiant shifts for the toon. According to his social media activity, the winger has returned to the Blues for fitness testing.
Returning to Chelsea
Atsu is no stranger to loan spells. Since joining Chelsea in 2013, the winger has picked up experience across the globes in different divisions, including Vitesse, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and most recently Newcastle United.
This has taken up most of his time under contract with the Blues, leaving the Ghanian to pick up no appearances. The contract between the winger and the club is set to run out next year, having potentially found a place in Newcastle's squad, this could be his next permanent mode.
As the Championship has drawn to a close it is an obligation that the winger returns to the parent club. This was made apparent as Atsu shared videos of him in Chelsea training kit in the medical suite of Chelsea's facility.
In the video also featured 22 year old Baba Rahman who also spent the season on loan, but in the Bundesliga with Schalke, incidentally the full back has also been linked with a move to Tyneside.
Atsu in Benitez's plans?
The 16/17 season saw Atsu have a decent first campaign with Newcastle as he scored five goals, including a training ground freekick, and recorded three assists. The question is now, does Christian Atsu want to stay at St James' Park and does manager Rafa Benitez see him in the future?
Given the experience that Atsu has from playing in a number of clubs and a certain calmness displayed on the ball, there could be a place for the 25 year old in the Premier League with the Mags. Reports coming from Africa also state that the player is ready to sign a three year deal with Newcastle, but throughout the season the player has remained ambiguous, stating that he wanted to focus on winning the Championship with the club.
Other signs during the season that Benitez could be interested in the signature of Atsu came when he opted to play the winger more in the latter stage of the season. Thus making him less of an impact player as he earned more starts and minutes when he did come off the bench -including a Man of the Match performance against Cardiff City.
Talks between Benitez and Mike Ashley are still to be held, which is when a decision on transfers are likely to be made.