Chelsea Transfer News: Why Christian Atsu Signing Makes No Sense for Blues

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IAugust 31, 2013

NELSPRUIT, SOUTH AFRICA - FEBRUARY 06: Christian Atsu Twasam from Ghana and Saidou Mady Panandetiguiri from Burkina Faso compete for the ball during the 2013 Orange African Cup of Nations 2nd Semi Final match between Burkina Faso and Ghana at Mbombela Stadium on February 06, 2013 in Nelspruit, South Africa. (Photo by Manus van Dyk/Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Gallo Images/Getty Images

According to numerous sources, including the Daily Mail, Chelsea have signed Ghanaian winger Christian Atsu from Porto for a fee of £3.5 million, with the player joining Eredivisie side Vitesse for the 2013-14 season.

Atsu, who was the Rio Ave player of the season during a loan spell in the 2011-12 campaign, returned to Porto last season and struggled to make an impact on first-team matters.

It had been thought that, with James Rodriguez moving to Monaco earlier this summer, Atsu could have played a big role at the Dragao this year.

The player, though, made clear his intention to leave the club and, with just one year remaining on his current contract, Porto have been forced to look to sell the player this summer (via MTN Football).

The question remains, though, why have Chelsea looked to sign Atsu? He is a talented player, but whether he is good enough for a top side is still debatable. At Chelsea, with their wealth of attacking options, it is difficult to see where he will fit in over the next few years.

For Rio Ave, Porto and the Ghanaian national team, Atsu has predominantly operated from the left side of the pitch, using his pace and trickery to create opportunities for his team's attacking players.

Chelsea, though, would appear well-stocked in this area for several years to come, with Eden Hazard, Willian, Andre Schurrle, Juan Mata and Kevin de Bruyne all options in the position. While Atsu offers a different approach, it would be difficult to see him displacing any of those named.

Even at Vitesse, where he will surely start, his arrival will likely see either Lucas Piazon or Gael Kakuta miss out on a starting berth. From a Chelsea perspective, the logic is hard to understand.

There is, of course, good reason to suggest that, with a price of just £3.5 million, Atsu will be worth far more in future and is therefore worth taking a risk on. For Chelsea, though, such logic is surely unnecessary—especially for a player already at an age where regular football is needed.

For the player himself, the lure of joining Chelsea is clear. But, if a move to England will require a year on loan at Vitesse, then the logic of leaving Porto is questionable.

Atsu and his advisors have looked to force a move for some time, meaning that Porto have already brought in potential alternatives, but now the Ghanaian will spend a season in the Eredivisie with no European championship football. It, surely, is not the way he had imagined building up to the World Cup next summer.

There is a lot about the move that simply doesn't make sense from anybody's perspective. An excellent player in one-on-one situations, with impressive technique, Atsu clearly has potential but is still a very raw prospect.

Chelsea, then, would appear to be buying a player whom they do not have room for, may not have space for in the future and may never be good enough. It is a normal tactic when the player concerned is a teenager, but Atsu is already looking to be an established first-team player.

The logic of the deal will only become clear in the future. At present, though, the transfer would appear to make little sense for either player or club.


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