To address that question, this article will grade Atsu's performance vs. Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and provides a scouting report on his loan spell at Vitesse.
Atsu vs. Germany Grade: B+
Despite Germany having a world-class full-back in Philipp Lahm, he was played in central midfield, thus centre-back Benedikt Hoewedes was played out of position at left-back.
This was an advantageous matchup for Atsu, whose energy and pace on the right wing was an outlet Ghana used to get a 2-2 draw.
Atsu's directness and his passing efficiency (88 percent), per Squawka.com, was outstanding.
The reason why Atsu did not receive a higher grade was he did not score or create a goal.
That said, Atsu had a great game against Germany, a favourite to win the World Cup.
Atsu Vitesse Positives
Blessed with outstanding athleticism, Atsu is a dangerous threat in fast-break situations, like speeding in behind the Cambuur defence to reach a through ball from Vitesse central midfielder Davy Propper.
Same case against Groningen as their back line is split open by Atsu's incisive run.
In the attack-centric Eredivisie, Atsu is growing in confidence in expressing his technical ability, like pulling off a silky roulette turn against the Go Ahead Eagles.
Atsu's labyrinthine-like run against PEC Zwolle suggests he is not just pace, as he possesses a finesse touch.
From a passing point of view, Atsu is reliable, completing 85.3 percent of his passes and registering six assists. He was metronomic against Utrecht, completing 96 percent of his passes, per Squawka.com.
Atsu Vitesse Negatives
Atsu's five league goals are respectable.
But he is a volume-shooter, taking 65 shots to accrue his output, so he needs to be more efficient.
Atsu is overly reliant on his pace.
In a play against Cambuur, his first touch is too heavy and he loses possession.
It is a reoccurring theme which has the potential to drag Atsu into a rut.
Despite being technically proficient, Atsu wants to play high-energy, physically demanding, run-and-gun type of football.
The biggest concern is him burning out.
With Andre Schurrle, Willian and Mohamed Salah vying for the right wing starting spot in Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho's first-team squad, Atsu will either be loaned out or sold.
The Chelsea management probably never viewed Atsu as a viable long-term starter.
He was in an awkward situation with his former club, Porto, which enabled Chelsea to take a punt.
Atsu had irreconcilable differences with Porto.
"I spoke to the club [Porto] before I came away on international duty and informed them that I won't be signing a new deal," Atsu said, per Sky Sports. "The club have made their feelings clear to me after I refused to sign a new deal and I hope we can reach a resolution soon."
He had a good season at Vitesse and has had bright moments for Ghana at the World Cup.
If a €15/£12 million bid is lodged for Atsu in the summer transfer window, Chelsea should consider selling him.
Statistics via WhoScored.com.
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