LONDON, ENGLAND - Friday, December 15, 2017: Newcastle United's Christian Atsu and Arsenal's Jack Wilshere during the FA Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at the Emirates Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Newcastle and Liverpool to hold minute’s silence in memory of Christian Atsu

The body of Christian Atsu has now been found in Turkey, with Newcastle and Liverpool to pay their respects in their match on Saturday.

Former Newcastle and Everton winger Atsu, who joined Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor last summer, had been missing since earthquakes hit Turkey and Syria earlier this month.

The 31-year-old had been misidentified and falsely reported as hospitalised last week, but on Saturday morning, his agent confirmed he had been found under the rubble of the building where he lived.

Atsu played for Newcastle for five years between 2016 and 2021, and with Liverpool set to travel to St James’ Park on Saturday, it’s been confirmed that both teams will observe a minute’s silence before the game.

The Ghanian was part of the Newcastle team which won promotion back to the Premier League in 2017 after joining on loan for the season from Chelsea, and later completed a permanent move.

He played 107 matches for the club between 2016 and 2021, scoring eight goals, including one against Liverpool at St James’ Park in April 2019.

His most recent appearance against the Reds came in Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Newcastle at Anfield later that year.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, March 3, 2018: Liverpool's Sadio Mane Newcastle United's Christian Atsu during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Newcastle United FC at Anfield. (Pic by Peter Powell/Propaganda)

Atsu is survived by wife Marie-Claire Rupio Atsu and their three children, with his brother and twin sister present at the recovery of his body.

He first arrived in England in 2013, joining Chelsea from Porto, and also had spells with Everton and Bournemouth.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, September 17, 2014: Everton's Christian Atsu training at Finch Farm ahead of the UEFA Europa League Group H match against VfL Wolfsburg. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that I have to announce to all well-wishers that sadly Christian Atsu’s body was recovered this morning,” a statement from his representative Nana Sechere read.

“My deepest condolences go to his family and loved ones.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their prayers and support.

“I ask that whilst we make the necessary arrangements, that everyone would please respect the privacy of the family during this very difficult time.”