Former Chelsea and Newcastle star Christian Atsu ‘found alive but injured’ after 7.7 magnitude earthquake but no confirmation on Hatayspor winger’s health
Former Premier League star Christian Atsu has reportedly been ‘found alive’ following the tragic 7.7 magnitude earthquake in Turkey.
The former Chelsea and Newcastle winger, now at Super Lig side Hatayspor, was reported missing with a search and rescue operation underway following the disaster on Monday morning.
According to Turkish outlet Star, Atsu – along with the club’s sporting director Taner Savut – were caught up in the natural disaster in Kahramanmaras, where Hatayspor are based.
They said two Hatayspor players – Burak Oksuz and Bertug Yildirim – were rescued from the rubble.
And two members of the technical team – Ekrem Eksioglu and Osman Ates – also survived the wreckage, in good health.
Portuguese outlet A Bola reported on Monday evening that Atsu had been “found alive” but was hospitalized with injuries to his right foot and breathing difficulties.
The report adds that Atsu’s teammates Onur Ergun and Burak Oksuz were also found alive by rescue teams and Portuguese Hatayspor players Ruben Ribeiro and Cape Verdean Ze Luís are safe. Meanwhile, Hatayspor defender Kerim Alici has emerged from the rubble himself.
There has been no confirmation on Atsu’s health from his club or Turkish media.
Ghana international Atsu joined Chelsea in 2013, where he was loaned out to Everton and Bournemouth, as well as Vitesse, Malaga and Newcastle.
The Magpies turned his temporary stint into a permanent move in 2017 after Atsu helped the Toon win the league title.
He stayed at the club until 2021, before moving to the Middle East where he then returned to Europe last year to join Hatayspor.
Newcastle have taken to social media to say they hope Atsu is found alive and well as they tweeted: “Pray for positive news Christian Atsu.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea tweeted: “We are praying for you Christian Atsu.”
Atsu had only scored his first goal for the club at the weekend before the earthquake struck in a 1-0 win over Kasimpasa.
Turkish newspaper Haberturk said Hatayspor midfielder Onur Ergun and club translator Emre had also not been contacted.
Meanwhile, Yeni Malatyaspor goalkeeper Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan is also missing.
The second tier outfit released a statement on Instagram, where they said, “To the knowledge of the common.
“Our caretaker, Ahmet Eyup Turkaslan, is in the building that was damaged and destroyed in the earthquake.
“’Search and rescue efforts continue. So far, there has been no news from him yet. »
So far, it is feared that at least 3,500 people have died in the earthquake that hit the country around 4am on Monday morning.
And experts said that figure could rise to 10,000 people after Turkey was hit by a 7.5 magnitude earthquake soon after.