In profile: Reported Chelsea target Christian Atsu

Amid reports that he is close to joining Chelsea, Sports Mole takes a closer look at Christian Atsu.

It is fast becoming apparent how Jose Mourinho is planning to dominate European football with Chelsea - sign all of the attacking midfielders in the world, thus preventing your opposition from having a creative element to their game.

Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but at the time of writing Mourinho has Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, Oscar, Frank Lampard, Victor Moses, Andre Schurrle, Kevin De Bruyne, Marco van Ginkel, Ramires and Willian (work permit hearing pending) at his disposal, all of whom like to operate in the final third of the pitch.

With that in mind, you'd assume that the Portuguese coach would be attempting to move some of those players on, rather than add to an already bulging list of talent. Not so if reports are to believed.

Speculation this morning has claimed that the Blues are on the verge of signing FC Porto winger Christian Atsu, assuming that one more can be squeezed into the Stamford Bridge dressing room!

It has been claimed that 21-year-old Atsu, who has entered into the final 12 months of his contract at Estadio do Dragao, will cost Chelsea just £3.5m. That is the sort of money that Roman Abramovich would find lodged down the back of his sofa, so his arrival would not represent a financial gamble, but could it turn out to be bargain signing?

Porto winger Christian Atsu in action against Vitoria SC.© Getty Images

The Ghanaian arrived in Oporto at the age of 17 and immediately impressed in the club's academy. In fact, he did enough to attract the attention of Andre Villas-Boas, who promoted him to the senior squad for a match against Maritimo in 2011. He didn't leave the bench, but had done enough in the proceeding months to be handed a three-year deal by the now Tottenham Hotspur head coach.

It was decided that he would benefit from a loan spell during the 2011-2012 season and so with teammate Kelvin, he joined Rio Ave. Atsu flourished in Northern Portugal, scoring six times from his 27 outings.

Those performances were enough to convince Vitor Pereira, who had replaced Chelsea-bound Villas-Boas, that the Black Stars international would be an asset to his team.

Injuries limited him to just 16 league appearances last term, but the quality that he managed to produce suggested that he has bright future ahead of him. At 5'8", Atus will not be scoring many headers, but he possesses a low centre of gravity which in turn aids his ability to beat his opposing right-back. He also has raw pace, as well as having enough upper body strength to cope with a physical presence.

While there can be no doubting that Atsu has plenty to learn before he can be considered to be anywhere near the finished article, he has all the key attributes, namely pace and power, to succeed in the Premier League. Whether he can force his beyond a plethora of alternatives and into the Chelsea starting lineup, only time will tell.

Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho in the stands at Old Trafford to watch his team's Champions League opponents Manchester United play against Everton on February 10, 2013
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