Turkish Super League fever resumes
The Turkish Super League resumes after the winter break, with leader Başakşehir visiting Bursaspor on Jan. 21. The Istanbul side has a new man on board, Turkish international Arda Turan, who arrived from Barcelona on loan.
Arda said on Jan. 15 that he could not wait to return to first-team football after a stint at Barça had largely been spent on the sidelines.
“I am very excited by the idea of doing what I like to do most in the world. I have missed football a lot,” he told reporters in Istanbul at his signing ceremony.
He joined Barcelona in 2015 after four successful seasons with Atletico Madrid but has been unable to hold down a first-team place.
Başakşehir’s chairman Göksel Gümüşdağ said Arda would have a salary of 2 million euros, excluding bonuses, until the end of this season and 4 million euros, excluding bonuses, for the next season.
Last year’s league runner-up Başakşehir has risen rapidly over the last two seasons in rival to the established Istanbul triumvirate of Beşiktaş, Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray.
With Turan joining international stars like Togo striker Emmanuel Adebayor and France’s Gael Clichy, Başakşehir is now a serious title contender, topping the table with 36 points, one ahead of Galatasaray.
Bursaspor, under experienced French coach Paul Le Guen, has also empowered its squad signing with prolific Senegalese striker Moussa Sow and Romanian Gheorge Grozav.
Reports say it is also close to signing with Nigerian Abdullahi Shehu, who plays for Greek Cypriot Anorthosis.
Galatasaray will pay a visit to Central Anatolia’s Kayserispor on Jan. 22, only two days after an extraordinary general assembly called by president Dursun Özbek four months before his term ends.
The team won its first game against Göztepe under Fatih Terim, who returned to the club for the fourth time on Dec. 2, 2017, replacing Croatian Igor Tudor, who was sacked on Dec. 18, 2017.
Third place Fenerbahçe, three points behind the leader, will host on Jan. 20 İzmir’s Göztepe, which shares 30 points with Beşiktaş and Kayserispor.
Defending champion Beşiktaş, which has lost its rising star Cenk Tosun to Everton during the winter transfer window, will visit Antalyaspor just above the relegation line on Jan. 21.
The Black and Whites signed a contract with Orlando City’s Canadian striker Cyle Christopher Larin last week to replace Tosun, who joined the Merseyside club last week for a reported fee of up to 27 million euros.
Osmanlıspor, the Ankara team that won 2-1 against Beşiktaş in a cup game on Jan. 17 but failed to make up a 4-1 loss in the first leg, will take on Malatyaspor on Jan. 20.
Sivasspor will host Akhisarspor on the same day. Black Sea giant Trabzonspor, which seeks a way up in the standings, will visit a struggling Konyaspor on Jan. 21.