Belgian international defender Ritchie De Laet joined Norwich
on a season long loan from Manchester United on 17th June 2011.
De Laet began his career with Belgian side Royal Antwerp for
whom he made 9 appearances before Stoke City signed him for £100,000
on 17th August 2007.
In July 2008, De Laet joined Bournemouth on trial, and played
his first game in a friendly against Portsmouth. In October 2008,
he joined Wrexham on a one-month loan deal, making his debut in
a 20 victory over Lewes in the Conference National. He made
a total of three appearances during his time at the club before
his loan spell was terminated in order for him to undergo a hernia
On 8th January 2009, De Laet was signed by Manchester United
on a three-year contract. He 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 200809 Premier League
season against Hull City.
Ritchie made his international debut against Chile on 29th May
In September 2010, De Laet joined Sheffield United on a 30-day
emergency loan deal after the Blades suffered a defensive injury
crisis, with both Chris Morgan and Robert 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 17th November 2010, De Laet joined Preston North End on a
28-day loan after an injury to first-team defender Callum Davidson.
Ritchie made 4 appearances for Preston.
On 14th January 2011, De Laet joined Portsmouth on loan until
the end of the 201011 season. He made 22 appearances, including
the 1-0 home defeat to Norwich which secured Norwich's promotion
to the Premiership.
De Laet made his Norwich debut in the opening day of the season
clash at Wigan (13th August 2011) which Norwich drew 1-1. He scored
his first Norwich goal the following week (21st August) in the
1-1 home draw with Stoke. He made seven appearances for Norwich
but was troubled by injury and returned early to Manchester United
on 18th January 2012.
On 14th May 2012, it was reported that Manchester United had
given permission for De Laet and teammate Matty James to speak
to Leicester. This became true on 16th May 2012 for an undisclosed
fee. "Both are hungry young players with winning mentalities,"
said Foxes boss Nigel Pearson. "Ritchie and Matthew are
both players we have been monitoring for some time and we are
very pleased to be able to bring them both to the club. They will
add considerable quality to the squad."
Leicester won promotion to the Premiership on 5th April 2014
and won the Championship trophy on 22nd April 2014 when they beat
Despite making 15 appearances in the Premier League in the 2015/16 season, De Laet was loaned to Middlesbrough on 1st February 2016 for the remainder of the season. He played seven games for Boro heling them to promotion to the Premier League. His previous 12 appearances for Leicester meant that he won a Premier League title medal as well.
In August 2016, he was linked with a move to Aston Villa. This became reality on 23rd August 2016 when he signed for Villa on a three year contract for an undisclosed fee. Ironically Ritchie made the last of his 129 Leicester appearances at Villa Park in January 2016.
On 23rd January 2018, Ritchie returned to Belgium signing for former club Royal Antwerp on loan. He had only played nine games for Villa during 2017/18. He made 14 appearances for Antwerp.
On 14th September 2018, he was loaned to Melbourne City for the 2018/19 A-League season, re-uniting with Melbourne's head coach Warren Joyce who was coach for Manchester City's reserves.