[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n July 6th, Barcelona announced the signing of Turkish and former Atlético Madrid star Arda Turan.
Whilst Turan is a player of the highest quality and any club would be lucky to have such a player at their disposal, it is puzzling to see how he will fit into Barcelona’s 4-3-3 system, providing Luis Enrique continues to adopt the same system for next season.
Given that Turan liked to play wide, its very difficult to see him replacing the mercurial Neymar, and altogether out of the question that he will replace Messi.
Arda Turan being a versatile player, he can play in a central attacking role and so would then be competing with Ivan Rakitic, Andrés Iniesta, Sergi Roberto and Aleix Vidal, perhaps a more feasible option for him.
It could be said that perhaps he is the player sought by Barcelona as the heir to Iniesta’s midfield throne, however at 29 (2 years younger than Iniesta) it is unlikely that Turan will improve in the future and is distinctly different regarding playing style.
It’d be very strange if Arda were to come deep and receive the ball from the likes of Busquets, Mascherano or Piqué, he isn’t like Iniesta in that he won’t try and control the game from midfield.
If Enrique were to incorporate Turan as a first team player, he may have to tweak his system by pushing Iniesta/Rakitic/Busquets deeper and having Turan as a trequartista behind Luis Suárez.
Even then, is Turan good enough for Enrique to change a system that worked so well last season and to justify the manager leaving players such as Busquets/Rakitic/Iniesta and potientally Mascherano out?
Would replacing players who enjoyed such an excellent season beforehand with a player from a rival team not stir up the sometimes heated Barcelona dressing room?
Or, would Turan adopt a similar role to Pedro, as a quality reserve wide-man who could be trusted to step up to the plate, if there were issues with Messi/Neymar?
This would then bring into question whether or not this was a good career move for Turan, obviously any move to a club such as Barcelona is most likely a career highlight but he was loved at his former employers- Atlético Madrid (who are going places under Diego Simeone) and started nearly every game – a highly unlikely prospect with his career at Barcelona.
However, as Turan himself said, it is extremely hard to turn down the offer of playing for Barcelona and with Messi as such opportunities are only available to a select few in the world and so from this perspective, you can see why he chose to join the Catalans.
It will be very interesting next season to see how Enrique integrates Arda Turan into his Barca setup next season, they have a quality acquisition on their hands and we can only wait and see if he is used effectively.
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