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
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.