Ritchie De Laet
De Laet with Manchester United in April 2010
|Full name||Ritchie Ria Alfons De Laet|
|Date of birth||28 November 1988|
|Place of birth||Antwerp, Belgium|
|Height||1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|2008||→ Wrexham (loan)||3||(0)|
|2010||→ Sheffield United (loan)||6||(0)|
|2010||→ Preston North End (loan)||5||(0)|
|2011||→ Portsmouth (loan)||22||(0)|
|2011–2012||→ Norwich City (loan)||6||(1)|
|2016||→ Middlesbrough (loan)||10||(0)|
|2018||→ Royal Antwerp (loan)||5||(0)|
|2018–2019||→ Melbourne City (loan)||25||(7)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 17:14, 10 June 2020 (UTC)|
Ritchie Ria Alfons De Laet (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɪci də ˈlaːt], born 28 November 1988) is a Belgian professional footballer who plays as a defender for Royal Antwerp in the Belgian First Division A.
Born in Antwerp, De Laet began his career at Belgian club Royal Antwerp. On 17 August 2007, he signed a three-year contract with Championship team Stoke City for an initial £100,000 fee. In July 2008, De Laet joined Bournemouth on trial and played his first game in a friendly against Portsmouth, a 4–1 defeat. However, he later returned to Stoke. In October 2008, he joined Wrexham of the Conference National on a one-month loan deal, making his debut in a 2–0 victory over Lewes in the league. He made three appearances during his time at the club before his loan spell was terminated in order for him to undergo a hernia operation.
On 8 January 2009, De Laet was signed by Premier League champions Manchester United on a three-year contract. The fee to be paid by Manchester United depended on appearances. After joining United, De Laet played exclusively for the club's reserve team. In March 2009, De Laet was named as one of five over-age players in the Manchester United under-18 squad for the Torneo Calcio Memorial Claudio Sassi-Sassuolo; he played in three of the five matches, and scored a penalty in the 5–3 semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Modena to take the Red Devils into the final, in which they beat Ajax 1–0. De Laet made his first appearance for the Manchester United first team on 24 May 2009, when he was named at left back for the last game of the 2008–09 Premier League season against Hull City.
In the 2009–10 season, De Laet featured in the League Cup, coming on as a substitute against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Barnsley in the third and fourth rounds and starting against Tottenham Hotspur in the fifth. Despite a defensive injury crisis in November 2009, Alex Ferguson preferred to bring midfielder Michael Carrick on for Gary Neville ahead of De Laet, after the United captain suffered a groin strain in the next league match away to West Ham United on 5 December. He then played his first league game of the 2009–10 season on 15 December against Wolverhampton Wanderers. De Laet played his second league game against Fulham on 19 December, which ended in a 3–0 defeat. On 4 May 2010, he was voted as the Denzil Haroun Reserve Team Player of the Year, beating Oliver Gill and Magnus Eikrem to the award.
In September 2010, De Laet joined Championship side Sheffield United on a 30-day emergency loan deal after the Blades suffered a defensive injury crisis, with both Chris Morgan and Rob Kozluk ruled out for several weeks. De Laet returned to Old Trafford at the end of his month having made six appearances for the Blades.
On 17 November 2010, De Laet joined Championship team Preston North End on a 28-day loan after an injury to first-team defender Callum Davidson. On 14 January 2011, De Laet joined Portsmouth of the Championship on loan until the end of the 2010–11 season.
Norwich City loan
On 17 June 2011, De Laet joined newly promoted Premier League side Norwich City on loan until the end of the 2011–12 season. He made his debut in a 1–1 draw at Wigan Athletic, conceding the penalty for the Wigan goal. However, he redeemed himself with a number of excellent blocks to retain the scoreline. On 21 August, he scored his first goal for Norwich against former club Stoke City in a 1–1 draw. This was also De Laet's first senior goal. De Laet was sidelined with a back injury whilst at Norwich. He made his return from injury on 27 December 2011 against Tottenham Hotspur in a 2–0 loss. On 18 January 2012, he returned to United after Norwich cancelled his loan.
On 14 May 2012, De Laet signed a three-year deal with Leicester City. He was joined at Leicester by fellow United player Matty James, who signed on the same day. De Laet scored his first goal for Leicester shortly before half time in the 6–1 thrashing of Huddersfield Town on 1 January 2013. He scored his second just four days later, against Burton Albion in the first round of the FA Cup. De Laet ended his first season with Leicester having played 46 games and scoring twice in all competitions, steering City into the Championship play-offs. In the 2013–14 season, he helped Leicester gain promotion back to the top flight playing regularly in the first team once more. De Laet featured 35 times scoring two goals.
In the 2015–16 season, De Laet started the first seven games for Leicester, scoring his last goal for the club in a 3–2 win over Aston Villa on 13 September 2015. He eventually lost his place in the first team to Danny Simpson.
On 1 February 2016, De Laet joined Championship side Middlesbrough on loan for the remainder of the 2015–16 season. He won promotion with the team on the final day of the season, after a 1–1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion. This meant that De Laet achieved the unique feat of winning promotion from the Championship and then winning the Premier League title, courtesy of his 12 league appearances for Leicester in the same season.
On 23 August 2016, De Laet signed a three-year deal with Championship club Aston Villa. On 14 December 2016, he was injured in the 67th minute in a 1–1 league game against Brentford. Scans later revealed the injury to be a season-ending one.
Royal Antwerp loan
Melbourne City loan
In September 2018, De Laet completed a loan move to Melbourne City of the A-League, reuniting with former Manchester United reserve team manager Warren Joyce. De Laet, who was stand-in captain at the time, scored on debut in the Melbourne Derby in front of 40,504 supporters, pouncing on a rebound in the 40th minute after a controversial penalty, awarded by the VAR, was missed.
In early 2019, Joyce shifted De Laet from defense to centre-forward with Ritchie scoring two goals in this position on 22 January 2019 against Western Sydney Wanderers as City defeated the Wanderers 4-3. De Laet's first goal in this match set a new club record for fastest ever goal in the A-League. Ritchie latched onto a loose back-pass from Keanu Baccus, took one touch to round WSW goalkeeper Nicholas Suman, before slotting the ball into the back of an empty net on the 30-second mark. The time beat Richard Garcia's previous club record of 34 seconds, set when the team was still named Melbourne Heart prior to the 2014 City Football Group takeover. The following day, De Laet revealed in an interview that the role of striker was not unfamiliar to him as Joyce used to play him in that role at the Manchester United Reserves when he was a youngster.
He was released by Aston Villa at the end of the 2018–19 season.
Return to Royal Antwerp
A few days after his Manchester United debut, De Laet was called up for Belgium's Kirin Cup matches against Chile and Japan. He made his debut in the match against Chile on 29 May 2009. De Laet was a regular for the under-21s in the 2011 European Championship qualifying.
- As of match played 7 March 2020
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other[nb 1]||Total|
|Royal Antwerp||2006–07||Belgian Second Division||3||0||0||0||—||5||0||8||0|
|2007–08||Belgian Second Division||1||0||0||0||—||—||1||0|
|Wrexham (loan)||2008–09||Football Conference||3||0||0||0||0||0||—||3||0|
|Manchester United||2008–09||Premier League||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||1||0|
|Sheffield United (loan)||2010–11||Championship||6||0||0||0||0||0||—||6||0|
|Preston North End (loan)||2010–11||Championship||5||0||0||0||0||0||—||5||0|
|Norwich City (loan)||2011–12||Premier League||6||1||0||0||1||0||—||7||1|
|Royal Antwerp (loan)||2017–18||Belgian First Division A||6||0||0||0||—||8||0||14||0|
|Melbourne City (loan)||2018–19||A-League||25||7||1||0||—||0||0||25||7|
|Royal Antwerp||2019–20||Belgian First Division A||22||0||3||1||—||2||0||27||1|
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- "Top-flight loan for De Laet". ManUtd.com. Manchester United. 17 June 2011. Retrieved 17 June 2011.
- "Norwich cancel De Laet loan". SkySports.com. Sky Sports. 18 January 2012. Retrieved 18 January 2012.
- "Agreement reached for United Duo". lcfc.com. Leicester City FC. 15 May 2012. Archived from the original on 18 May 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2012.
- "Leicester 6–1 Huddersfield". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 1 January 2013. Retrieved 2 January 2013.
- "Ritchie de Laet - Football Statistics - Form Guide - Squawka.com". www.squawka.com.
- Andy Cryer (13 September 2015), Leicester City 3-2 Aston Villa, BBC Sport, retrieved 4 June 2017
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- "De Laet Joins Villa". 23 August 2016. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
- "Aston Villa 1–1 Brentford". 14 September 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- "Ritchie De Laet: Aston Villa defender ruled out after sustaining serious knee injury". 16 September 2016. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- "Antwerp Bereikt Overeenkomst Met Ritchie De Laet" (in Dutch). Royal Antwerp Official Site. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 23 January 2018.
- "Melbourne City FC signs defender Ritchie De Laet". Melbourne City FC. 14 September 2018. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
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- Lynch, Michael (22 January 2019). "Late winner gets City home in goalfest". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "Ritchie De Laet has scored Melbourne City's fastest ever A-League goal". Fox Sports Australia. 22 January 2019. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- Tito, Clement (23 January 2019). "De Laet: I'm playing for a contract". ftbl.com.au. Retrieved 23 January 2019.
- "Aston Villa: Micah Richards and Albert Adomah among eight players released". BBC Sport. 1 June 2019. Retrieved 3 June 2019.
- "OFFICIEEL: Antwerp haalt De Laet terug naar de Bosuil". Voetbal Primeur. 29 June 2019. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
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- Ritchie De Laet at Soccerway
- "Spelersstatistiek Ritchie De Laet" (in Dutch). R.A.F.C.-Museum. Retrieved 17 June 2014.
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- Anderson, John, ed. (2014). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2014–2015. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 200–201. ISBN 978-1-4722-1251-1.
- Anderson, John, ed. (2016). Sky Sports Football Yearbook 2016–2017. London: Headline Publishing Group. pp. 234–235. ISBN 978-1-4722-3395-0.
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