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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Atsu keen to embrace Everton chance

Published 14/08/2014 | 10:46

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Christian Atsu moved to Goodison Park for first-team football

Loan signing Christian Atsu admits he seized the opportunity to join Everton and play in the Barclays Premier League as he does not know when he will get his chance at Chelsea.

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The 22-year-old will spend the coming campaign under the guidance of Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park, following in the footsteps of Romelu Lukaku who did exactly the same last season before signing permanently this summer.

Some of his comments mirrored those of Lukaku, who said after he completed his £28million deal that he wanted more pitch time and did not think he would get it at Stamford Bridge.

However, Atsu, who joined Chelsea on a five-year contract from Porto last September and was immediately farmed out to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, is not yet thinking about long-term plans.

"I can't tell you the future but I don't know how long it will take for me to get back to Chelsea," said the Ghana international.

"Looking at the players Chelsea has my playing time would not be much and for me I have to play football as a young player.

"Right now I am really focused on Everton and at the end of the season we will see what will happen.

"I think Everton is a really good club and I am here to work hard and to help the team.

"This is my first season in the Premier League and it is a really high level for me and a big opportunity to prove myself and also to help the team."

Atsu is Martinez's fourth signing this summer after Lukaku and Gareth Barry turned their loans into permanent deals and midfielder Muhamed Besic joined from Hungarian side Ferencvaros.

Martinez said he was "not desperate" to bring in any more signings in this transfer window but much may depend on the fitness of Arouna Kone.

The Ivory Coast international has not played since October and is still a month away from full fitness but is effectively the only back-up striker to Lukaku.

"A lot will be down to how Arouna Kone adapts to being fully fit. It is a big area we are going to keep an eye on," said Martinez, who denied reports he was ready to sell the striker.

"At the moment it is difficult to say when he is going to be fit but I have an incredible confidence in him.

"I am very happy, today, at the start of the season, with the business we have done."

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