Five reasons Arda Turan has struggled at Barcelona

Carlo takes a look at why the Turk hasn't flourished since his move from Atleti

Arda Turan has struggled to feature for Barcelona this season

Arda Turan has struggled to feature for Barcelona this season

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.

4) Overconfidence

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.

Arda Turan

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?

  • Rowland

    I will like ardan to stay, the manager have to creat room for him

  • LL

    He’s also very aggressive. He never failed to receive a yellow card no matter how little time he was given.

  • David in SF

    Guys – I’m one to say I’ve missed what the regular season provides in the form of conversation about the club I love- Atleti – but plse can we not do a segment on why a former player is struggling. He is old news for us – if there is a reason as to why we are talking for the betterment of our club- then I want to welcome why and join the discussion

    To everyone at – I admire and pay nothing but respect to the work and commitment you’ve put in so please don’t take this as me being negative or diminishing your work!

  • Ringo

    Once an Atleti always an Atleti

  • Kris

    I don’t understand how the fuck this article has anything at all to do with Atletico? Maybe you could send this article on to a Barcelona fans site.
    This article is as futile on this site as Arda is in Barcelona.

  • Koke

    For many players – Raul Garcia, prime example – I’d agree. For Arda, though, nah. I can’t consider him as one of us ever again after leaving our team to join one of our biggest rivals, even sacrificing 6 months of the prime of his career to do so and then calling them the best club in the world and his biggest dream…

    Good riddance that he’s gone, though. Between Oliver, Carrasco, Correa, and Gaitan, we have plenty of players that can exceed his level.

  • Usavicente Calderon

    He should have never left Atletico, but I think he left because he wanted not to have to play at such an intensive level for every game. And that is the reason he is struggling at Barca.

  • atleti10

    Gaitan is Arda plus the end product. The fact we paid 10 million less than we got for Arda is great business.

  • AndersAT

    Well it is a slow news period. I think it is fun to discuss subjects regarding Atletico and the competitions Atletico are in. I think this site could use more discussions regarding Spanish football in general including our rivals. Arda is a former Atletico player that changed to one of our rivals even though he had to be suspended for 1/2 season, which is quite an interesting story.

    If you do not want to read about it you do not have to.

  • Ringo

    I’m not going to decide for anyone what they should want in life. Even if that means joining a (direct) rival.

    And I don’t mean we need him or anything. He was great for us (kind of overrated even imo) and he worked hard, but we have other, arguably bigger talents, like you mentioned too.

    I’m just saying that he was one of us, but that doesn’t mean he is us. To him (and his family I think is what he said) it was seen as a big accomplishment to be at Barca, so he probably felt like it was good for him to join them. I wouldn’t (I think, obviously it’s not like I’m in the situation) want to, but I’m not Arda.

    I don’t see the need for this article either, but Carlo did. And that’s all right. He wants some Arda attent. Hes one of us, too, and like Arda he isn’t exactly the same as us. I still follow Agüero, while others call him El Rata.

    Why hate people for having different wishes in life? Selfishness doesn’t look good on anyone in my opinion.

  • Ringo

    Him leaving gave room to new talents to shine, though.

  • Kris

    Yeah I couldn’t give a fuck about him as a person, but he still is El ‘Rata’ Aguero as a player. Same with Arda Turan, he still is a motherfucker to me, as an Atletico fan, who chose to join Barcelona with a shit of an excuse of ‘I had to run too much’ and ‘it was my childhood dream.’ Oh, fuck off, cunt.
    Obviously, I have different P.O.V. as Kris, when I am not being a sports fan, or more importantly, in this case, an Atletico fan discussing on an AtletiFans forum.

    lot of commas. fuck my grammar.

  • Kris

    He should have left Atletico even earlier if he wasn’t willing to give 110% for our team. If you aren’t willing to run as much as Cholo god asks you to, then you can piss off.