Not that many Liverpool fans will have read it, but the Sun newspaper is reporting today that Rafa Benitez is keen to offload at least two Liverpool stars, Ryan Babel and Andrei Voronin, to fund a move for Galatasaray’s 22 year old Turkish winger Arda Turan. Just what kind of player will Rafa Benitez be getting for his reported £9m investment?
Certainly in Turkish football, Turan is held in very high regard. He has represented his country at every level from Under 16’s through to the full international team, where he has already earned 34 caps and scored five goals, even though he is just 22 years old.
Indeed it was with Turkey that Turan was first brought to world attention when during Euro 2008, he caught the eye down the right wing for Turkey, scoring two goals and inspiring the Turkish team to a place in the semi-finals of the competition. His first goal in the final was a dramatic 92nd minute winner against Switzerland which eliminated them from the tournament. His second began the incredible Turkish fifteen minute comeback from 2-0 down to defeat the Czech Republic 3-2 to earn a place in the quarter finals.
Turan’s pace, power and skill on the ball caught the eye and that does tend to be his strengths. An excellent creative winger with good close control and the ability to beat his man and deliver a telling cross into the box. He is exactly the kind of player Liverpool would need in order to bring the best out of striker Fernando Torres, who would no doubt thrive off the quality of balls that Turan would provide from wide right. In addition to his creativity, Turan also scores plenty of goals. He averages a goal every four games in the Turkish Superliga and this season he has been in particularly good form, wth six goals in twelve games in the Turkish league and cup as well as nine assists in total.
At Anfield Turan would no doubt provide much needed ability in wide positions, although it is arguable whether he’d be used down the left or right flank. Benitez seems to like the partnership of Kuyt and Johnson down the right and Turan would then likely revert to playing down the left, where he has played many times for club and country. Certainly he would be an alternative to Albert Riera and would be a big upgrade over Andrea Dossena, Fabio Aurielo or Yossi Benayoun played out of position.
However this isn’t the first time that an English club has made a move for Turan. Weeks before Euro 2008 started, Newcastle United tabled an offer of £9m for the winger, which was flatly rejected by Galatasaray. Liverpool may well need to offer a little more than the £9m price quoted in todays newspaper to land the winger, but if they do, he could well prove to be an excellent piece of business, especially given that the player himself has said;
“I want to play in major leagues and my dream team is Liverpool”
Come January, he may get his wish.
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