English Premiership

Benitez backs Hayden, Atsu potential to improve

Christian Atsu (Getty Images)
Christian Atsu (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez believes Isaac Hayden and Christian Atsu have a lot of potential and have shown that they are eager to learn and improve.

Hayden and Atsu were retained in the Magpies' squad from last season, after earning promotion to the Premier League by winning the Championship, and Benitez has stated that their ability to learn and adapt convinced him to hold on to them.

“Quality is not just that they can pass, they can put the ball in the top corner or things like that. It’s about whether they can understand the game, and whether they have the margin to improve,” Benitez replied, as quoted by Chronicle Live, when asked how he decides whether a player can make it in the top flight.

“Some players you can see that, maybe, they can improve a lot, and others who you think are close to their maximum level. It’s something you have to consider.

“When we signed Hayden, he is a young player so he can improve.

“How much? We don’t yet know. It depends on him too - on how much he wants to learn, if he listens to you and pays attention to details in the training sessions. You have to feel that they want to.

“For example Atsu. Some people were saying at the beginning: ‘Oh Atsu, why will we keep Atsu?’ But he is very cheap now, when you see the market he is very cheap, and you can see that he can improve.

“Can he be at the level that we need for him to do ‘this’ or ‘that’? I don’t know, but he’s someone that you know has improved and will keep improving because he’s keen to learn.”

Newcastle next travel to the St. Mary's Stadium to face Southampton in an English Premiership clash on Sunday.

Kick off is at 17:00.

Fixtures
Thu 02 Jul 20 19:00 PM (SAST)
Sheffield United
Tottenham Hotspur
Bramall Lane
Thu 02 Jul 20 21:15 PM (SAST)
Manchester City
Liverpool
Etihad Stadium
Sat 04 Jul 20 13:30 PM (SAST)
Norwich City
Brighton & Hove Albion
Carrow Road
Results
Wed 01 Jul 20
West Ham United 3
Chelsea 2
Wed 01 Jul 20
AFC Bournemouth 1
Newcastle United 4
Wed 01 Jul 20
Arsenal 4
Norwich City 0
Logs
Team
P
W
PTS
1. Liverpool
31
28
86
2. Manchester City
31
20
63
3. Leicester City
32
16
55
4. Chelsea
32
16
54