Everton boss Roberto Martinez reveals plans for Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu

Christian Atsu will have an important role to play at Everton once he returns from the African Cup of Nations, says manager Roberto Martinez.

Having struggled to make his mark at Everton so far this season, Toffees boss Roberto Martinez believes Christian Atsu could benefit from a run of regular games at the African Cup of Nations.

Atsu, 22, has made just nine appearances since joining Everton on a season-long loan from Chelsea in September and has now linked up with Ghana ahead of the three-week competition which kicks off later this month.

Given his lack of involvement at Goodison Park, recent reports have suggested that he could head back to his parent club following the tournament, but Martinez remains adamant that the promising winger has a role to fill with his side over the final months of the campaign.

“It always takes time to adapt to the needs of the British game and it takes time to settle in,” he told the club’s official website.

“Christian has been doing very well in training and he is ready now to have a big impact on the side, that’s the way I feel.

“It is disappointing that he has to go away now but, if he can play some games and get some minutes under his belt we can pick that up when he gets back.”

Atsu joined Chelsea from FC Porto in September 2013 for around £4 million but spent the season on loan at Eredivisie side Vitesse Arnhem, where his impressive performance saw him earn the Dutch club’s Player of the Year award.

While adapting to English football has proven a tougher task, the 28-times capped international nevertheless remains an exciting prospect, who should develop into a solid Premier League starter in due time.

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