If Liverpool and Arsenal haven’t been involved in enough soap operas this summer, The Metro is reporting that they could both be about to indulge in another one. The plot this time features Atletico Madrid’s Arda Turan and an agent, Ahmet Bulut, who seems intent on getting his client a move away from the Vicente Calderon for the best part of eight months now.
Any scouts from either club might not have been impressed if they’d been present in Seville on Sunday night as Los Rojiblancos beat Sevilla 3-1. Turan laboured for large parts, making just 18 successful passes, and completing none of his two take-ons or two crosses; perhaps he had a move to England on his mind when he was replaced by Oliver Torres just before the hour?
It wasn’t a normal performance from the Turkish international though. In a functional Atletico side, he usually adds versatility and creativity to a front four which has sometimes been known to lack width. From the left and the right side, Turan created 38 chances last season, leading to four assists, with nearly 80% of his chances being created in the final third.
He’s an able passer too, allowing him to, in theory, fit into the systems deployed by both Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers with relative ease. In the last campaign, which culminated with Atleti securing third place and an automatic passage to the Champions League group-stage, the 26-year-old made over 800 passes with an 84% completion rate. One encouraging stat surrounding Turan’s use of the ball was that 58% of his passes went forward, demonstrating purpose rather than just indifference. Furthermore, he made 48 successful take-ons. This was in fact more than Theo Walcott (47) and Arjen Robben (32).
As part of a Diego Simeone side, he’s demonstrated that he can pack a punch too. Last season he won 88% of his tackles, which would benefit a team who wants to press high up the pitch – that’s trendy right? His height (5´9”) restricted him to just 31% success rate in aerial duels though, while he managed to beat his man pretty much every other time when it came to taking on defenders.
He’s sporting a rather impressive beard at the moment, partnering his short hair that he shaved after promising to do so if Atletico managed to beat Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final. They did beat Madrid.
To get that beard to England though, Arsenal or Liverpool will have to pay his release clause which stands at around £20 million, because, as much as his agent may be seeing dollar signs, Simeone, nor Atleti, are looking to cash in on Turan just now.
The wait is over...
The free Squawka football app is here
Topics: Arda Turan