Martinez predicts when on-loan Everton star will reach his peak

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has backed on-loan Chelsea winger Christian Atsu to hit top form if given time.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez believes that Christian Atsu will be at his best in the second-half of the season.

The Ghanian winger joined from Chelsea on a loan deal this summer and Martinez believes that when he adapts to English football properly, Toffees fans will see him at his best.

So far Atsu has made little impact, with most his appearances being from the substitutes' bench, but Martinez feels that once he settles in his form will take a big up-turn in standards.

“We need to give him a little bit of time to adapt to the physicality of the Premier League just like any player but especially a winger," the Spanish boss said to the Liverpool Echo. "In other leagues referees allow less contact and they are a bit more protected.

“But I think the way he has adapted to the way we want to play so far has been impressive. He’s an intelligent footballer.

“It’s just making sure I can give him the right introduction to his role. With the minutes he’s had so far in the Europa League and other games he’s done well.

“I expect him to be himself in the second half of the season and he can be a very important player for us.

"To be left-footed in that wing position with a real penetrative edge like he has can give you a big advantage.”

Despite being a Chelsea player, Atsu's had no experience of playing competitive English football prior to his move to Everton.

The jet-heeled attacker has been loaned out of Stamford Bridge across Europe in the last few seasons, with his first-team chances limited.

The hope is that he can catch the eye at Everton and go on to prove that he can make it in the Premier League.

The Toffees had great success with the last loanee they took from the Blues, in Romelu Lukaku, and if Atsu can have a similar impact that would put the club in good stead.

So far this campaign, the Merseyside outfit have struggled, but they will be hoping to start collecting points after the international break.

Their first fixture comes against Aston Villa and Atsu will be determined to repay his manager's faith in his ability if he does get a chance. 

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