Christian Atsu
Christian Atsu has featured in all of Newcastle's first 11 matches back in the Premier League


  • Atsu was substituted with a knock during the closing stages of Newcastle's defeat to Bournemouth on Saturday.
  • However, the 25-year-old was still able to join up with the Black Stars squad on Tuesday morning.
  • Rafael Benitez will be hopeful over his availability for the trip to Manchester United on 18 November.

Winger Christian Atsu looks set to be available for Newcastle United's next Premier League fixture away to Manchester United on 18 November after joining up with the Ghana squad for international duty.

As confirmed by the Ghana Football Association (GFA), the 25-year-old arrived in Accra on Tuesday morning (7 November) ahead of the Black Stars' final 2018 World Cup qualifier against Egypt at Cape Coast Sports Stadium this weekend.

The match is essentially a dead rubber, with the visitors having already sealed top spot in Group E ahead of Uganda to clinch their first finals berth since Italia 90.

Kwesi Appiah's Ghana, who were present at each of the previous three tournaments, sit third having taken only six points from their five matches in the third round of qualifying to date.

Atsu's apparent fitness is good news for Newcastle after Rafael Benitez stated that the player "felt something" before being replaced by Jacob Murphy in the 82nd minute of a disappointing 1-0 home defeat to Bournemouth at St James' Park.

"It's too early to tell," the manager said of the extent of the problem afflicting the former Chelsea youngster, who has started 10 of Newcastle's first 11 league games in 2017-18 after seeing his successful loan spell converted into a permanent deal.

Benitez is already missing homegrown defender Paul Dummett, who has not played since limping off just seven minutes into the newly-promoted Magpies' first contest back in the top-flight against Tottenham Hotspur in August.

Mikel Merino came off the bench to score a dramatic late winner against struggling Crystal Palace last month, but has since missed successive defeats to Burnley and Bournemouth due to a back problem suffered in training.

The influential Spanish midfielder, signed on a full-time basis in October just three months into his own season-long loan, has seen a specialist and Benitez says the length of his absence will depend on how he responds to treatment.

Newcastle's only other injury worry ahead of that clash with United is captain Jamaal Lascelles. The centre-back was withdrawn early in the second half of the game against Bournemouth with a left ankle knock sustained before the interval and the Shields Gazette reported that he departed the ground with a protective boot and crutches.

Ciaran Clark and summer arrival Florian Lejeune will likely be paired together again in central defence if Lascelles cannot prove his fitness before the trip to Old Trafford.

United welcomed back Marouane Fellaini from a knee injury during their narrow loss at Chelsea last weekend, although were still without Marcos Rojo, Michael Carrick, Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Jose Mourinho, who has sanctioned a one-week break for Chris Smalling and Ander Herrera after they were omitted from their respective national squads, recently said that his injured crop were in a "good position" to bolster the squad ahead of a busy festive period and the second half of the campaign.