Once again Turkish international Arda Turan has stated his desire to one day play for Liverpool:
“Of course I want to play abroad but it is our board’s decision. As I always mention, Liverpool attracts me because of their tradition. In Europe, I am a Liverpool supporter, so if I go to play in Europe, I would like to play for them. My dream has always been to play for one of the top European clubs, but you shouldn’t make concrete plans in your life because sometimes these plans cannot be achieved. This is my dream, but for now I’m just working on my football.”
Before we start speculating over a possible move for the player in the summer, just who is he? Arda plays his football in the Turkish league for Galatasaray. He progressed through the Turkish giant’s youth ranks before being loaned out to Manisapor for the 2005/06 season to gain first team experience. After a successful spell he returned the following season to compete for a starting place in Galatasaray’s midfield. Despite only being of a diminutive stature at 5ft 9, Arda is known for his speed, ball control and mazy runs from the left wing. His performances in late 2006, assisting Galatasaray in the Champions League group stage, persuaded then manager Eric Gerets to make him a regular starter in the first team on the left side of midfield. Arda had already made his debut for his country back in August 2006 against Luxembourg, the final stage of a development which saw the young winger play at every level for Turkey, and since his breakthrough into both teams, he has not looked back since for either club or country.
After cementing his place in the team, he helped Galatasaray to the Turkish League title in 2008 and played in the majority of Turkey’s Euro 2008 qualification campaign. His combination of assists and goals make him a player to be reckoned with and he demonstrated both his creative qualities and his knack for scoring crucial goals at the European Championships in Austria and Switzerland. During Turkey’s remarkable run to the semi-finals in the tournament, Arda played a crucial role in their progression. He scored a vital 92nd minute winner against Switzerland in the second group match, knocking the co-hosts out of the tournament, and in the third group game, he scored the first goal in a dramatic reversal which saw Turkey come from 2-0 down to win 3-2 with just 15 minutes left of the game. He also scored a penalty in Turkey’s penalty shoot out victory against Croatia in the quarter finals but couldn’t prevent the side losing to Germany in the Semis.
The left winger was named the Turkish player of the year for his efforts for both club and country, a trophy he would retain the following season. Arda is still only 23 years of age and he already has 34 caps for his country with 5 goals to his name, including 2 in Turkey’s failed attempt to qualify for the 2010 World Cup. He also continues to impress in the league for Galatasaray, with his team four points clear at the top of the table, Arda has already contributed 10 goals and 20 assists in 31 matches this season, one goal behind his total for last season. A winger who can run, cross and shoot looks to be an exciting prospect for Liverpool fans but he will no doubt cost a lot of money if Rafa Benitez was interested in him. Certainly an 8 figure sum would be asked for and with Liverpool’s debts still very high, the likelihood of the Reds granting Arda’s dream move to Anfield look relatively slim at the moment.