A tricky left-winger with pace to burn, Atsu was signed from Porto last September for a reported £3.5 million, before being promptly loaned out to Dutch outfit Vitesse for the 2013-14 season.
His impressive displays for the side were enough to see him voted the fans’ player of the season and early indications are that the 22-year-old is set to return to the Eredivisie club for the next campaign, barring injuries at Chelsea or a breakout World Cup.
While the former scenario is wholly possible, so is the latter, with Atsu in contention to start against the US in a game which could be extremely well-suited to his attributes, given the opposition’s recent tendencies to leave space wide open to exploit behind the full-backs.
At worst, he will certainly prove a deadly impact substitute in the second-half of games in Brazil, as opposing defenders, tired from the South American heat, struggle to contain his pace and energy coming fresh off the bench.
With the youngster’s playmaking skills and speed on the ball, such a stage could be just what’s needed to turn the heads of the Chelsea hierarchy and potentially even have some wondering whether the highly-rated attacker is ready to be tested in the Premier League right now.
However, with further matches against Germany and Portugal to come after tonight’s contest, Ghana face an extremely tough task progressing to the last 16, giving Atsu in all likelihood the minimum number of games to try to catch the eye of the football world this summer.
A surprise is always possible though of course, and who better to act as the catalyst for it than a player billed as one of the most exciting young African talents in football and who we could very well be seeing star at Stamford Bridge in the not too distant future.