Christian Atsu: Ghana winger joins Saudi club Al Raed

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Ghana winger Christian Atsu has signed for Al Raed in Saudi Arabia.

The 29-year-old joins the Pro League side on a two-year deal, having cut ties with English fold Newcastle United following the expiration of his contract.

It is his first club outside Europe since beginning his professional career with Portuguese outfit Porto.

At Raed, Atsu will look to reignite his career after being frozen out of the Magpies first-team last season. 

"I have a lot of offers but I think I will leave Europe, but I cannot say anything for now," the winger recently said as quoted by Ghanaweb.

Under Steve Bruce, Atsu was initially left out of Newcastle's registered squad for the Premier League, only making an entry into the list for the second half of the campaign.

Despite becoming available for league action, he was continuously left out of matchday squads, ending the campaign without a competitive appearance.

Instead, he played with the Magpies reserve fold.

He was heavily linked with Scottish club Celtic before making a return to the league squad.

"Five hours before the window closed, they asked me to go to another club,” Atsu told the Athletic earlier this week on his failed attempt to join a new club in January.

“Five hours to close!

“The club knew my position, why I’d stayed. With five hours’ notice, that was never going to change. It was impossible to make that decision. My family comes first.”

Atsu was groomed at Porto’s academy from where he joined Rio Ave on loan for his first senior season in Europe

It was a good term for the winger who amassed 27 league appearances for the Rioavistas, making 23 starts and finding the back of the net on six occasions.

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The short spell did enough to impress Porto, who handed him a first-team place in the 2012-13 season.

After just one season with the Dragons, he was signed by Chelsea but competition for playing places at Stamford Bridge meant he spent the duration of his association with the club out on loan, playing for Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands, Everton, Bournemouth, Malaga and Newcastle United.

In 2017, he helped Newcastle to gain promotion to the Premier League, after which the club secured his services in a permanent deal.