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Atsu: Ghana star leaves Newcastle United 

14:20 SAST 2021/06/01
Christian Atsu Newcastle United 2019-20
The 29-year-old has brought a five-year stay at St James Park to an end

Ghana international Christian Atsu has announced his departure from Newcastle United after five years at the club.

The winger leaves the Magpies after seeing out his contract.

It marks an end to a frustrating last 12 months, where he was frozen out of the first team and had to take a place with the second team. Consequently, he played no part of the club's Premier League campaign in the just-ended season.

"When I arrived in Newcastle almost five years ago, I was made to feel welcomed from the start, by everyone at the club and especially by the fans. I grew to love the city and my young family feel at home here," Atsu posted on social media on Tuesday.

"Sadly, the time has come for me to leave the club, so I just want to say a big thank you to everyone who is part of the Newcastle United family.

"Thank you to the Toon Army fans, a lot of whom I have met around the city.

"I will never forget my time in the North East and for sure I'll follow the results every week. Thank you my geordie staff, players and fans. It's been a pleasure."

Atsu joined Newcastle from Chelsea in 2016, initially on loan during the former's time in the English second tier.

With 32 Championship appearances and five goals to help the club qualify for the Premier League, the attacker did enough to impress the Magpies, who moved to make his stay at St James Park permanent, signing him on a four-year contract.

He appeared 28 times in each of the club's first two seasons on their return to the elite division before seeing his numbers drop to 19 in the 2019-20 term.

Last season, things changed for the 29-year-old when he was left out of the registered squad at the start of the Premier League season.

In January, he was lucky to be reinstated to the squad but still found himself on the sidelines as he failed to make the matchday squad for any of the games.

Away from the first team, the former Everton and Bournemouth man played six times for the second team and scored once.