Two years is a long time in football. The Twitterati found it out the hard way, seeing Xherdan Shaqiri go from winning the Champions League to being linked with Stoke City.
Barcelona target Arda Turan knows this all too well, being the creative spark oft found to be lacking in Atletico's attack. Seen as the physical embodiment of Diego Simeone's managerial style, the Turk fits every bill.
The Turkey international's eagerness of expressing his sentiments on the pitch goes to show his passion for the club.
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This is evident by his getting involved in scuffles ever so often for the Los Colcheneros. It leads to flaring tempers and can finish like 'that' infamous boot throw at the linesman in a match against Barcelona.
The stats give yet a different reading, as the wide man only registered three goals and six assists for the Madrid club last year. The reasoning for this could be Atleti having somewhat of a lacklustre year, mustering a third place finish.
His highest return in all his seasons for Atletico has been a paltry five goals and a modest 12 assists, and that too in his debut season. This does not represent his work for the team. His direct runs and clever passing are the opposition defenders' worst nightmare on the Turk's day, which have come to be rare.
Replacements would be aplenty, as their once plaguing debt is projected to be clear by 2017. This will increase its purchasing power in the market, and hand them the bargaining chip.
This will up the stakes in an already busy transfer window for Atleti and comes after already having offloaded Mario Mandzukic and Miranda this summer.
These sales have financed reinforcements in the cast of Jackson Martinez and Lucianno Vietto.
In short, the board at Atletico would be foolish not to play Moneyball like it has done well before. To pit the clubs interested in Turan against each other and trigger a full-blown transfer battle would be the ultimate aim.
Football fans, do you think Turan will move to Barcelona or Chelsea? Let us know in the comments box below.
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