Newcastle United winger Christian Atsu has credited manager Rafael Benitez for his increasing effective performances in the Premier League.
Barely given a chance at Chelsea and struggling to make an impact during loan spells at Everton and Bournemouth since arriving in England in 2013, the 25-year-old is finally showing his Premier League quality with the Magpies this season.
The Ghanaian international was in the thick of events for Newcastle in their quick return to the top-flight, scoring five goals in 32 appearances in the Championship.
The silky winger netted his maiden Premier League goal against Stoke City on Sunday and has spoken highly of the former Real Madrid trainer on how he’s developed into a better player.
“I am very happy the team won and also happy to get my first Premier League goal,” Atsu told club website.
“Three wins in a row is very good for the team.
“Rafael [Benitez] is always telling me to use my speed to run in behind the defence if I want to assist or score more goals and it has shown a lot.
“I think with Rafa, I have improved a lot, I have seen it for myself and a lot of people are also seeing it.
“So he is very important to me and I also listen to him very attentively because he is very good coach.
“I try to work hard every day in training, try to prove to him I want to be in the starting eleven because others are also waiting for the opportunity.
“The atmosphere in the dressing room is very good and we have to keep working hard.”
Christian Atsu was voted the Most Valuable Player during the African Cup of Nations in 2015.