Christian Atsu: has ex Newcastle United footballer been found after Turkey earthquake, what’s been said?

Christian Atsu played for Newcastle between 2016 and 2021. (Getty Images)Christian Atsu played for Newcastle between 2016 and 2021. (Getty Images)
Christian Atsu played for Newcastle between 2016 and 2021. (Getty Images) | Getty Images
Former Newcastle, Chelsea and Everton winger Christian Atsu was reported missing after a huge earthquake in Turkey

Former Newcastle United footballer Christian Atsu is still missing more than a week on from the earthquakes that hit Turkey and Syria.

There were initial reports that Atsu had been rescued from the rubble of a building that collapsed in the disaster, but these reports have been denied by Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere who posted subsequent messages on social media confirming that Atsu has not yet been found.

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Atsu currently plays his football for Turkish side Hatayspor after signing for the club last summer.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit hard in Kahramanmaras Turkey at 4am on Monday 6 February, affecting the area where Hatayspor is based. More than 37,000 people have reportedly died as a result of the earthquake with areas in Turkey and North Syria being damaged.

Atsu played for Newcastle United between 2016 and 2021, he also had spells at both Chelsea, Bournemouth and Everton earlier in his career.

What happened to Christian Atsu?

Christian Atsu was reported missing by the Turkish media on Monday 6 February after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake occurred in Turkey.

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Several other members of the team were also reported missing at the time including Burak Oksuz and Onur Ergun. But the pair have since been recovered along with Kerim Alici who managed to free himself from the rubble.

Atsu’s agent Nana Sechere said: “I am at the quake site in Hatay with Christian’s family. The scenes are unimaginable and our hearts are broken for all the people affected.

“During my time here we have been able to locate Christian Atsu’s exact room location and we have found two pairs of his shoes.”

Sechere has thanked the Turkish and foreign rescue teams for their efforts and response to help rescue survivors but has also called for more resources. He said: “We urgently need more resources, including a translator, on the ground. Things are moving incredibly slow and as a result many rescues are being delayed and lives are being lost due to the lack of resources available to the workers.”

Christian Atsu was a member of the Newcastle team which won the Championship title in 2017. (Getty Images)Christian Atsu was a member of the Newcastle team which won the Championship title in 2017. (Getty Images)
Christian Atsu was a member of the Newcastle team which won the Championship title in 2017. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

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How did Newcastle United react to the news?

As worries increased for Christian Atsu, his former club Newcastle United tweeted: “Praying for some positive news @ChristianAtsu20” alongside a picture of their former winger.

Atsu was a key member of the Newcastle team which won the Championship title in 2016/17 under Rafael Benitez. He made a total of 121 appearances during his five year stint on Tyneside.

Newcastle manager Eddie Howe also spoke fondly about his time working with Christian Atsu and sent the winger his best wishes. Howe said: “ It’s hugely worrying. I really enjoyed working with Christian at Bournemouth. He’s a great lad and a great player. Our thoughts are with him and his family. We hope for some good news.”

Christian Atsu scored a late free-kick winner for Hatayspor the evening before the earthquake on Sunday 5 February. A clip of the goal has circulated on social media with many people sending their best wishes to the footballer.

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Atsu has made a total of 65 appearances for Ghana over the course of his career, he was a member of the team which reached the final of the African Cup of Nations in 2015, while also making the team of the tournament.

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