Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Barcelona midfielder, Arda Turan, but the 30-year-old would be a poor replacement for Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez – here’s why.
Turan’s agent, Ahmet Bulut, has confirmed that the midfielder will be leaving Barcelona in January and even posted a picture of himself and his client in London this weekend. However, as an Arsenal fan, I have to admit I’m hoping this doesn’t mean anything.
The 30-year-old is being tipped to replace Ozil or Alexis despite the midfielder being inferior to either player. Although the Turkey international looked promising under Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, he made 28 La Liga starts, scored just two goals and provided four assists during his final season before moving to Catalonia.
Since moving to Barca for €34m in 2015, he made nine La Liga starts (18 appearances) during his first season and 14 the second. Given that he’s now 30 and struggling for game time isn’t a good sign. There’s a reason the Spanish giants want to offload him and it’s certainly not because they want to strengthen another team.
This season, Turan is yet to make an appearance for Ernesto Valverde’s side. At first he was sidelined with a ‘back problem’ in September and now he’s supposedly been out since October with a metatarsal bone bruise. However, even when he’s been injured, he’s not played.
Turan can bring something to the team when fit. For example, last term he provided a goal or assist every 92 minutes. However, his age and injury problems make him a poor replacement for either Alexis or Ozil, who both regularly contribute week in, week out.