Ghana and Newcastle United attacker, Christian Atsu has praised club manager Raphael Benitez, insisting the Spanish tactician has helped him improve his game.

Atsu played on-loan at the St. James Park outfit last season, and put up a series of impressive performances as the Magpies won the Championship to secure qualification to the English topflight.

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The winger was subsequently signed permanently from parent club Chelsea, putting pen to paper on a four-year deal.

The 25-year-old has been in imperious form so far in pre-season for Newcastle United, scoring in the club’s win over Wolfsburg and Hellas Verona.

And the winger believes manager Raphael Benitez has been key to his recent rise, insisting the Spanish manger is making him a better player.

“I always want to do something to help the team move forward. I try to work hard and I want to be better than last season,” Atsu told the club’s official website.

“We know what is ahead of us – it's bigger than what we passed through last season – and we just need to keep working hard and be better players, each and every day.

READ ALSO: Ghana Premier League: Five observations from the Kotoko- “I think I’m more focused, and I’m also listening to Rafa Benítez. His advice has been very important to me, and my teammates have also been very supportive too. We’re all working together. “With him, I think I’m improving. I just need to keep working hard and keep trying to help the team each and every game. Now there is big competition in the team, and you can’t underrate any player. I just need to keep working hard and try to do something for the team.”

Atsu scored the second goal as Newcastle United won ended their pre-season with a 2-0 win over Hellas Verona.