Arda Turan, the first Turk to ever win a La Liga title, is reported to be for sale by Barcelona, according to Marca. The news comes just over a year after Barcelona signed him for €40 million from Atlético Madrid.
The Turkey captain would like to stay with the reigning La Liga champions but the report describes a Barca board that feels as though it is a good idea to sell the former Atlético midfielder, especially since Denis Suarez’s arrival will cause greater competition.
Arda’s lack of minutes and big game starting time is something that came as a bit of a surprise to Barcelona fans and many Atletico supporters, but why did this happen? Read on as AtleticoFans tackles the question.
1) Tactical Differences
When Barca and Atleti are pitted to go against one another, the story is often labeled as the “Battle of Philosophies.” So, for Turan, his midfield responsibilities change drastically when going from Diego Simeone’s Atleti to Luis Enrique’s Barca.
Tactically speaking, going from a right-sided winger that will make the difference going forward on a counter-attack, to playing a possession-based style, is completely different and was something Turan struggled with.
Yes, Atleti dabbled with a more expansive style of play last season but that was after the Turkey international had already left for Catalonia.
2) Different Role Under Luis Enrique
Turan isn’t the biggest fan of running – he’s openly admitted this – but he was wrong to think that Luis Enrique’s midfield vision just requires creation.
Turan is a natural winger that can play on the left or the right in the engine room or up-front, however, replacing Messi or Neymar isn’t an option for starting minutes and he was chosen to challenge Ivan Rakitic on the right and to a lesser extent, Andres Iniesta, on the left.
For a player who likes to cut inside on either flank, the presence of two forwards who like to do the same thing with their stellar dribbling was a challenge, not to mention that Enrique’s midfield have to rely on tracking back and winning back possession, something that may be a little more difficult to do when a team plays a high line rather than sitting back.
People forget that Iniesta had to adjust his play with Neymar on the left, for the Brazilian often cuts inside and operates in the spaces that he used to when Pep Guardiola was at the helm. If Turan is to stay, his biggest rival is still going to be the Croatian and he will still have to understand how to supply the ball to Messi.
Offense aside, the notion of less running under Luis Enrique may be true, just not if you’re required to operate in the engine room.
3) More Competition
The Turkey captain, although coming from a top side, had to display his worth in a new role and in one that already had stiffer competition. Trying to size up Iniesta was going to be nearly impossible and Rakitic’s solid form was also going to be tough.
Barcelona’s expectations are that of mammoth proportions and Turan simply didn’t show up when the call came, the reasons above didn’t help and neither did the side’s stiff midfield competition. Denis Suarez will make it even harder if Turan is to stay.
Barcelona can make your ego bigger. Plain and simple. So when Turan came to one of the biggest clubs in the world, he likely thought he was already made of Barca cloth, with the ability to simply walk on the pitch with little resistance from others.
Rakitic had other plans and Turan didn’t show enough consistency. Yes, Arda is a professional and he knows that nothing is guaranteed but perhaps he thought he was of Barcelona-pedigree too soon.
5) Transfer Ban
People forget that Barcelona was hit with a transfer ban ahead of the 15/16 season and the Turkey international was forced to wait until January 2016 to make his debut.
Obviously, Turan was allowed to train and practice with the squad but perhaps it would have been better for his learning curve to occur at the beginning of the season rather than it’s latter-half. One will always learn more in competitive matches than in practice scrimmages.
If he is to stay, then we’ll see how he does in his first full season with the Blaugrana.
What do you think the reasons are for Arda’s tough time in Catalonia?