Everton FC announced the club has reached an agreement in principle to sign the Chelsea winger, Christian Atsu, on a season-long loan, according to Everton manager Roberto Martínez.
Martinez’s men finished fifth last season, running out of gas in the dying stages of the campaign, and the Spaniard is eager to go one better as he seeks to guide his side into Europe’s elite first tier competition – the UEFA Champions League.
Having already brought in Gareth Barry from Manchester City, Muhamed Besic from Ferencvaros and Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea, Atsu becomes the club’s fourth summer acquisition – albeit on loan.
The deal provides an ideal win-win situation for all three parties involved in it. Chelsea benefit from temporarily offloading a winger off their heavily populated midfield, while Everton gain the services of a technically astute 22-year-old Ghanaian international. As for Atsu, he will get a better chance at first team soccer as he seeks to emulate former Chelsea man, Romelu Lukaku, by impressing on loan.
Speaking to the Liverpool Echo newspaper, Martinez was quoted to have said, “Everything has been agreed with Christian – it’s just a matter of finalizing little details more with his work permit and personal situation.”
The club website quoted the Spaniard manager as describing the Ghanaian as “a player who fits in with the culture and the way we want to play. He’s a very gifted technical footballer and he’s got the right personality and character to fit in with the group, which is vital.
“He will excite fans because he brings something completely different and a different way of playing to what we’ve got in the squad… He’s a left-footed player who loves taking people on and he’s got a really good understanding of the game for such a young man.”
Martinez however mentioned that it would take a couple of days for the player to attain a work permit as well as address his personal situation.
Atsu, who joined Chelsea from Porto for £3.5 million last summer, was shipped to Vitesse Arnhem on loan, before momentarily joining Chelsea and subsequently agreeing to a loan move to the Merseyside Blue.
“I’m very happy to be joining Everton because it’s a great club, which likes to play football, and it’s a great pleasure to be here,” said the winger to evertontv. “Playing in the Premier League has always been a dream for me and I have achieved that dream.
“This is the biggest level for me to play at. I know that it’s a very competitive league and I believe with hard work we’re going to be successful this season,” he concluded.
Martinez new acquisition will provide “extra competition in a position in which we felt we needed a player full of desire and hunger, who really wants to make things happen in the final third of the pitch.”
Everton begin their Premier League campaign away at promoted Leicester City on Saturday. For viewers in the United States, the game will be shown live on NBCSN at 10am ET. View the Premier League TV schedule for the latest updates.