Newcastle coach concerned for Atsu's safety after Turkey earthquake
Newcastle's coach says he is worried about the life of Ghanaian player Christian Atsu who is still missing after the earthquake that struck Turkey.
Newcastle coach Eddie Howe has expressed his concern over the safety of the club's former Ghanaian player Christian Atsu after he was caught up in the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey.
Volkan Demirel, the coach of Atsu's Turkish club, Hatayspor, said earlier this week that the midfielder had not been found despite initial reports suggesting he had been rescued from the rubble.
A 7.8-magnitude quake hit Turkey and Syria early Monday, killing nearly 22,000 people in one of the region's worst disasters for a century.
Atsu, 31, who played under Howe on loan at Bournemouth before a five-year stay at Newcastle, has still not been found in the devastated region.
Asked on Friday about Atsu, who joined Hatayspor last year, Howe said, "It's hugely worrying. I really, really enjoyed working with Christian, a great lad, great player. Our thoughts are with him and his family."
"We hope for some good news, we hope he's OK, but we're really concerned for him and his welfare this week," he expressed.
Howe pointed out that the conflicting stories about Atsu's safety following the disaster had made it even harder to handle such a distressing situation.
"It's been very tough," the coach said. "I can't imagine how his family are feeling. But from the bottom of our hearts, we wish him well and hope there's a positive ending."