If things had gone differently, Christian Atsu could be a Celtic player right now.
But he decided to stay. And without him, Newcastle might not have beaten Oxford United on Tuesday night. At least that’s what the stats will tell you.
Allan Saint-Maximin’s cracker late on sealed the Magpies’ place in the fifth round, jinking past defenders before rocketing a shot past Simon Eastwood.
It was an incredible solo effort, but who did he receive the ball from? That man Atsu. The Ghanaian picked up possession in his own half, before feeding it out wide to his teammate.
Saint-Maximin did all the hard work, but the stats will still say Atsu provided the assist.
In truth, it was another shocking cameo by the £6 million man.
Time and time again he picked the ball up in a promising position, only to choose the wrong option. We saw a shot that endangered a fan more than the goal, as well as wayward passes when it seemed certain Newcastle would score.
Even when the Magpies had a man over down the right, Atsu decided the best option was to drift inwards and into traffic.
His decision making was all over the place, and it was another terrible performance amid a bad run for the winger.
For most fans, he’s done as a Newcastle player. And that probably should have been the case on transfer deadline day.
In hindsight, this was probably a mistake.
He’s never going to be a starter again for Newcastle. And the fans have pretty much turned on him completely.
But if he had joined Celtic, he would have had a chance at a fresh start.
When he’s in full flight, Atsu can be a threat. When he believes in himself, he can run at players and terrorise defenders. We’ve seen it in the FA Cup against Rochdale, and at times against Oxford.
But it just doesn’t happen in the Premier League. Would the Scottish Premiership suit him better? Probably.
When you look at some of the players who have thrived north of the border, such as Scott Sinclair, Atsu would have had no problem in becoming a star at Parkhead.
But instead, he decided to stay in the Premier League. Sadly, it already looks like a mistake.