Arda Turan: Left, Right Or Centre, The Turkish Messi Will Light Up Liverpool...
Arda Turan jinked to the right and then he jinked to the left. He ran up and down by the sideline and they cheered. Just behind the goal the vociferous element of the supporters chanted a new version of ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’ using just his name. Suddenly Arda made a run, a run to the bench. He put on his shirt, he came on, made his debut and the rest as they say, is history.
Fourteen months on and both Atlético and Arda Turan are in better places. When he arrived questions were raised about whether he would be able to cut it in Spain. After just a few games nobody had any doubts about his talent. Atlético were suffering under Gregorio Manzano and Radamel Falcao was struggling for consistency. Both Arda and Diego Ribas were giving fans something to smile about. After a while, Arda was being classed as the signing of the season, as he was bought for a steal at just €12m.
He has admitted to modelling himself on Messi and you can see some of the young Argentine in his game
What makes Arda so special is his versatility. He can play on the left, right and also in the centre. Early on at Atlético he expressed a desire to play more in the middle but was placed on the wing. He still gave 100% and ran defenders ragged. He loves to run down along the sideline and then cut inside. He wriggles around and finds space and when the ball is at his feet, it looks like he has Velcro on his boots. He has admitted to modelling himself on Messi and you can see some of the young Argentine in his game. His control and his movement are fantastic but he is more than just an attacking option. He can do the dog work too and can often be found tracking back and putting in a tackle. This season he has been given a licence to roam by Diego Simeone, a role he has excelled in.
It hasn’t been all plain sailing for Arda. His fitness levels have been something to be concerned about. Depending on whom you talk to, at Galatasaray, he had a similar problem. The Turkish wizard struggles to complete more than 70 minutes. His fans will argue that if one only looked at his work rate and dedication on the pitch it should come as no surprise that he can’t last a full 90 minutes and they have a point. Arda is like a hyperactive kid, he just can’t stay still but this season his game time has increased and he looks a lot stronger and fitter.
He also had some problems with discipline. With Turkey he had an infamous bust up with then Coach Guus Hiddink. He also had some issues with Galatasaray and was caught one morning by a fan in a casino in Madrid, a night before a game. The Turkey dispute has long been forgotten and the casino incident was blown out of context. He was injured and had been given the night off. The club didn’t even fine him but it raised concerns about his off the field antics. Those close to the Turk said it was a one off, something that they have been proven right in, as he has not been pictured out late since.
He has admitted that he is a Liverpool fan and this week a picture was posted on Twitter on him wearing a Liverpool shirt
Right now Atleti are sitting joint top and going well in Europe. Champions League qualification is a must this season and so far all is going according to plan. Liverpool is a club in progress and Arda will be 26 in January but the Merseyside club have a few secret weapons.
Arda has never hidden his desire to play in as many top leagues as he can and has expressed a keen interest of one day playing for Liverpool. He has admitted that he is a Liverpool fan and this week a picture was posted on Twitter on him wearing a Liverpool shirt. Whose shirt? Well that is Liverpool’s other secret weapon, Nuri Sahin. The two are good friends and Sahin could be instrumental in convincing his countryman to join him but this means that Liverpool needs to also sign Nuri.
This summer Atlético signed Emre. The signing of the former Newcastle and Inter Milan midfielder raised a few eyebrows. Some said it had something to do with his agent but others said that it was so that Arda would have company. He has been slow to learn Spanish but he is settled and is enjoying life in Madrid. He is a confident, warm talkative young man. He is the joker of the pack and every home game has fans from Turkey in attendance to wish him well.
Would he fit in at Liverpool? The simple answer is yes. In fact, he would be a great buy for any club in England but they would also need to persuade Atlético to let him go. With the constant rumours surrounding Falcao and his expected future sale, Atleti would be very reluctant to let another fan favourite go.
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