Newcastle United’s promotion may have settled the nerve of Magpies’ fans, but the reality is that the club remain in flux.
Rafa Benitez is due to meet Mike Ashley next week in order to discuss his own position as United boss, the club were drawn into HMRC’s investigation into historic transfer activity in midweek, while just about the whole squad are playing for their futures.
Throughout the entire Championship campaign, Newcastle supporters have been discussing – originally prematurely, but now pragmatically – which of the current crop of players are ‘Premier League-ready’.
The likes of Matt Ritchie, Jonjo Shelvey and Ciaran Clark have all shown they can perform at the highest level, but there are question marks over the vast majority of the squad.
One player who is playing for his very Newcastle future more than most is Christian Atsu.
The 25-year-old is at a stage in his career where he finally needs to plant some roots, and he has hinted in recent months that he would like to do so on Tyneside.
Atsu joined Chelsea in 2013 from Porto but has never made an appearance for his parent club, instead being sent on loan five times.
Successful spells at Vitesse Arnhem and Malaga were split either side of disappointing stints at Everton and AFC Bournemouth, before his summer move to St James’ Park.
During his spell at United, there have been glimpses of quality – interspersed with some frustrating and even largely-anonymous displays.
But, at the Cardiff City Stadium, we saw the Ghanaian produce a moment of quality which added some magic to a game which, up until that point, had been dire.
Atsu, having won a free-kick inside the D, stepped up and curled the ball over the wall with a left-footed shot which nestled into the top right-hand corner of the net.
The Ghanaian has had a mixed season, and has shown flashes, but this latest performance may have given Rafa Benitez something to ponder given that his season-long loan deal will soon be coming to an end.
Talk of a potential £6.5million permanent move from Chelsea has been mooted, and Newcastle do definitely have first option on the winger this summer.
A former Africa Cup of Nations Player of the Tournament, Atsu clearly has talent in abundance.
Yet he has made just 14 league starts, and come on 17 times as a substitute in the league this season, contributing five goals and three assists.
Capable of moments of brilliance like the free-kick he conjured up on Friday night, Atsu can also be frustratingly inconsistent and large portions of games can almost pass him by.
Benitez has a big decision to make regarding the winger’s future – about whether those positive glimpses outweigh the negatives.
Has Atsu done enough to convince Benitez he can finally make a statement in the Premier League? It seems only time will tell…