Harry can feel vindicated over Dos Santos move

As his number came up on the substitute’s board in the 62nd minute of Galatasaray’s 3-0 win over Ankaragucu, the Turkish commentators joked ‘I don’t think I’ve even said his name so far’.

Yet again, Giovani Dos Santos had failed to impress. The team may be top of the league, and he may have just been substituted with Cimbom 2-0 up, but it is no secret that Giovani Dos Santos is currently going about his business in the shadows of Jo, Elano and Milan Baros. In fact, Baros has been out for nearly 5 months and he still managed to score in his cameo appearance. Something that will undoubtedly have pleased the Galatasaray fans more than Dos Santos has been able to in any of his six appearances so far.

So what is wrong with Gio? Well I don’t think anybody really knows. Having started his career at Barcelona and impressed alongside players such as Ronaldinho, whom many believed he was the successor to, the Mexican winger’s career has nose-dived since he left the Camp Nou.

After joining Tottenham, he showed signs of brilliance but not on a consistent enough basis to merit a starting spot. He languished in the reserve team until Harry Redknapp let him go on a 6-month loan deal to Galatasaray and more importantly, allowed him to be reunited with former manager Frank Rijkaard.

So was Redknapp right to let him go?

Even with Rijkaard, the manager whom he flourished under at Barca, the Mexican is struggling to recapture his form. Now, I don’t like to jump to conclusions straight away, but he really doesn’t seem to be capable of doing what he did some years ago in the red and blue of Barcelona. At Barca he was entertaining, sharp and full of ideas. At Galatasaray he is coasting in a league where he could become king. Of course he may be lacking match practice. After all he has spent over a year playing primarily reserve team football and may have his lost some of his self-confidence and sharpness. He should be given time, everybody knows how confidence can change a player but the critics do have their reservations.

Turkey is similar to La Liga in terms of the time you get on the ball. In England the game is faster and opponents challenge your every move. However, it must be said that the standard in Turkey is lower than that of Spain. If Dos Santos cannot find his feet in the Turkish Super Lig then he may struggle to find it anywhere in Europe. He is playing for a team who seem destined to lift the League title at the end of the season and around players who have played at the highest level throughout their careers. Whether Harry was right to let him go is still questionable, what is for sure though is that Dos Santos must start proving himself from now on or it will not only be his club future that is in doubt, but his place at the World Cup as well.