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Roberto Martinez pleased with Christian Atsu’s AFCON performance

Roberto Martinez Press Conference Smiling

The Everton manager thinks the on-loan Chelsea winger's performances are the perfect platform for him to challenge for first team football.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has praised Christian Atsu’s accomplishments at the Africa Cup of Nations on the club’s official website.

The on-loan Chelsea winger was rewarded with the Player of the Tournament award thanks to his performances for Ghana, while his strike against Equatorial Guinea in the quarter-finals was named as the Goal of the Tournament.

He has not enjoyed an ideal time at Goodison Park, having made just nine appearances since joining on loan in the summer, but now Martinez thinks that the player's personal accolades at the AFCON provide the perfect platform for him to claim more playing time.

“They were fantastic achievements for him,” said the Blues boss.

“Straight away after the final, emotions take over and obviously penalties are a cruel way to lose a game, never mind a tournament. His goal against Equatorial Guinea will be a terrific memory and being named Player of the Tournament is not an easy feat, especially if you don’t actually win the competition.”

As already mentioned, the Ghana winger has so far failed to establish himself at Everton during his loan spell, with Aiden McGeady and Kevin Mirallas preferred to the Chelsea man.

The loan signing of Aaron Lennon from Tottenham Hotspur during the January transfer window has provided further competition for him at Goodison Park, although his performances in international competition will give manager Martinez food for thought.

Now, the Spanish tactician insists that Atsu can come in and compete for a place in the Everton first team.

“We are very pleased for Christian and we were looking forward to having him back,” he added.

“I think now, with the games that he has had, the signs are very positive that he can come in, compete for his place and help the team. Christian is a very important player for us to have at this stage of the season.”

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