Recently, Arsenal Football Club have been heavily linked with a £25 million move for Barcelona attacking midfielder Arda Turan, which some see as potentially preparing for Mesut Ozil’s exit either this or next summer.
Firstly, it is without question how talented Arda Turan is, although he is yet to break into double figures for scoring or assists in Spain since moving from Galatasaray in 2011. The Turkish international is a very hard working skilful player that can link play as well as break it up further up the field, he’s represented his country 96 times scoring in 17 in them.
I doubt Arsene Wenger would sign a guy so low in attacking stats to replace Mesut Ozil who has contributed so highly in the final third for Arsenal. With that said, maybe Wenger is looking at Arda Turan as a long-term replacement for Santi Cazorla in the middle of midfield? he works hard and does tackle, this could be his new position going forward.
The moral dimension
With all that said there is a bigger issue here that may not have been mentioned in the papers, Arda Turan’s attitude towards Arsenal. At the beginning of last season he told Diari Ara: “I felt that I would sign for Barca. Honestly, I thought: ‘If I play very well I’ll end up signing for Barca, because my style fits this team. If I play well, finish at Arsenal.’
“For my style, with ball, playing easy, short, aggressive when needed, but especially good, I knew I could get here in Barcelona.”
Since this quite disrespectful statement he went on to play for Barcelona in total 35 times since his debut in January 2016, which for a player of his stated talents isn’t quite as many as you’d expect. He clearly hasn’t lived up to his own hype or broken into the first team as he expected. So along come Arsenal his plan B option with a way out to resurrect his career.
But should Arsenal want a player who has spoken so disrespectfully of them? Yes Arsenal aren’t a Barcelona or Real Madrid but they are still a great team, a team that players should want to join, not simply as a plan B.
I ran a poll on twitter asking if Arsenal fans would sign Arda Turan following his comments and of 420 people 51% said No. You can obviously see the problem here, do you sign a world star who could help your team or do you stick to your principles and only sign players that want to play for the badge?