To say that Arda Turan is on the outs at the Camp Nou is an understatement. He hasn’t gotten any game time in a competitive match all season. He’s behind Gerard Deulofeu in the pecking order for attackers, and at 31 years old he makes seven million euros a year.
Luis Enrique bought the Turkish international but never quite seemed to figure out the best way to incorporate him given that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Neymar occupied the front three. Turan isn’t a traditional pacey winger, but he’s also certainly not a midfielder, so when MSN was lined up there was nowhere for Turan to go.
One would have thought that with Ousmane Dembele’s long term injury that Turan would have found a place, but it just hasn’t happened. Ernesto Valverde doesn’t seem to care whether Turan is there or not.
In light of all of this, his agent has been looking for a place for him to move, and Everton has been one of the clubs he has been in contact with. The move is likely to cost about 20 million and of course the player’s not insignificant wages would be very relevant.
The hugely impactful version of Turan that folks may remember from Atletico Madrid is likely gone. He did average 1.6 open play key passes per 90 for Barcelona in La Liga play last term, but let’s be honest, when you’re playing Neymar’s role in a Luis Enrique designed attack alongside two of the best goal scorers on the planet, of course you have that many. Turan is not a dominant dribbler, he completed about 60% of his 2.5 dribbles per 90 last term, a percentage that has been consistent throughout his career.
Turan thrived in the defense first system that Diego Simeone ran at Atletico Madrid, and there’s reason to think he could do well here at Everton playing for Big Sam, but he’s never been the guy who is going to revolutionize an offense, and he won’t do that here, either.
He’s a winger who excels at defensive work rate and does well enough on offense to be an overall effective player. I have no idea why we’d pay 7m a year and 20m up front for that.
As this story develops, do not get caught up in thinking that Arda Turan is some game changing star that Everton have a chance to get. If he moves somewhere other than here we won’t have been ‘beaten out’ for a player. His agent approached us, not the other way around.
We have young players who play his position who will continue to develop, we don’t need another over 30 player whose best years are behind him taking up valuable minutes.
We need another defender in this January window. Arda Turan for where this team is and what they need is not really a player worth giving a second thought. If he was something we needed, he wouldn’t be behind a player Everton put on loan last season, unable to get any minutes at all.