Beşiktaş’s new guns ready for Trabzon challenge
HÜRRİYET photo, Emre OktaySpor Toto Super League title contender Beşiktaş has been very active in the winter transfer window as the club travels to Trabzonspor this weekend.
Mid-week, Beşiktaş signed Aras Özbiliz, the rising Armenian star of Russia’s Spartak Moscow.
Also in search for a goalkeeper, the club signed Ukraine’s FC Dnipro goalkeeper, Denys Boyko, who arrived in Istanbul on Jan. 20 for heath checks.
Beşiktaş will reportedly pay 3.3 million euros ($3.6 million) to Dnipro in transfer fees for the 28-year-old goalkeeper, while the Ukrainian international will be paid 4.2 million euros ($4.5 million) in total as well as 4,000 euros ($4,400) per match bonus.
The Black Eagles, currently second in the Turkish Spor Toto Super League with two points behind leader Fenerbahçe and one game in hand, also signed with La Liga side Getafe’s Alexis Delgado.
Beşiktaş and Spartak Moscow reached a 1.5 million euro transfer deal for Özbiliz, sources said.
Özbiliz is a product of the Ajax Youth Academy and played as a professional at the Dutch side between 2010 and 2012, before moving to Russia’s rooted first-tier team Kuban Krasnodar.
On July 26, 2013, Özbiliz signed a multi-year contract with Spartak Moscow, with Kuban earning 10 million euros in transfer fees.
Born in Istanbul’s Bakırköy district, Özbiliz was raised in Hoorn, Netherlands and holds both Dutch and Armenian citizenship. He received his Armenian passport on Oct. 4, 2011, thanks to an order by the Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan and chose to play for the Armenian national team, making his debut on Feb. 29, 2012, in a friendly match with Canada. He scored in his very first game.
Considered as a “future star” since his early youth, Özbiliz suffered two serious injuries early on, including a torn knee ligament.
Beşiktaş chairman Fikret Orman praised the new signings, while saying that the club would not sell center back Ersan Gülüm to China’s Shanghai Shenhua.
“We have a course and we are moving in that direction,” Orman said on Jan. 20. “We are focused on the title, and Beşiktaş goes in every game to win. We trust our players against Trabzonspor.”
The game will be the first test of new Trabzonspor coach Hami Mandıralı, who was brought in to take charge of the troubling squad. A former Trabzonspor and Turkish international player, Mandıralı said he will do his best to first lift the spirits of his players.
Fenerbahçe will take on another Black Sea club this weekend when it hosts Çaykur Rizepor on Jan. 24 in a rare afternoon game.