Tuesday, 7 February 2023, 01:39
A search is ongoing for former Malaga, Chelsea and Newcastle winger Christian Atsu following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake on Monday morning which has claimed thousands of victims in southern Turkey and northern Syria.
According to various Turkish media reports, the 31-year-old Ghanaian is one of many people that the emergency services are looking for, trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings in the city of Atakya, where his new club Hatayspor plays, close to the Syrian border.
Several of Atsu's teammates have been freed from the scene but, despite several reports to the contrary, it appears that both Atsu and the club's sporting director, Taner Savut, are still missing.
"Our thoughts are with him and his family at this time of terrible anguish," said a statement from Malaga CF, the team he represented on loan in the second half of the 2015-16 season.
Medios de comunicación de Turquía señalan que Christian Atsu, exjugador malaguista, se encuentra atrapado bajo escombros tras un terremoto de 7, 7 grados.Málaga CF (@MalagaCF) February 6, 2023
Nuestros pensamientos están con él y su familia en estos momentos de terrible angustia. pic.twitter.com/o1G9fKr7a6
After an unsuccessful loan spell with English side Bournemouth in the first half of that season, Atsu arrived on the Costa del Sol from parent club Chelsea and scored two goals (one on his debut at La Rosaleda) in 12 appearances.
After that, the winger spent five seasons with Newcastle (helping them to Premier League promotion), before moving to Al Raed in Saudi Arabia and then, most recently, Hatayspor last summer.
Just hours before the earthquake, he scored the winning goal in the 97th minute for Hatayspor against Kasımpaşa.
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