Arda Turan was likely used as a pawn the presidential election game, with Josep Maria Bartomeu stealing a march on his rivals by securing the signature of the Atletico Madrid midfielder before his eventual victory.
No matter, the Turkish international has worked hard on his fitness in training and all of the signs so far are positive.
Despite having to sit out another three months on the sidelines, Turan has been clear in his desire to make an impression on the first team picture at Barca as soon as practicable.
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Not for him, another six months twiddling thumbs and hoping for an opportunity. Turan will be snapping at the heels of his contemporaries from the get-go.
Thus far, Ivan Rakitic has failed to hit the heights of the last campaign but that could be due in part to Luis Enrique’s rotation of the player unexpected as it has been.
Andres Iniesta is out until the middle of November if reports are accurate and although the team captain is one of the “undroppables,” Enrique could see the positives in utilising Turan to allow El Ilusionista extra recovery time in the mid to latter part of the season when Barca are expected to play two games a week in most weeks.
Lest we forget that the side will take part in the Club World Cup and that did for Real Madrid’s fitness before season’s end in 2014/15.
Turan’s integration could, therefore, be a timely one.
Although much is made of his combative nature, his skill set is often overlooked. Here is a player that can mix it with the best of them but can also provide the necessary technical aspects when required.
Adept at drawing defenders and finding the solutions even in the tightest of situations, Turan should feel right at home in Barca’s midfield quickly.
The question marks over his temperament may well remain, but he is one of a few players whom, if you dilute that side of his game, he is half the player.
Not that an unhealthy attitude at times should be endorsed.
Moreover, sometimes the Catalans can be accused of being a little too lightweight in certain areas. Having a “minder” of sorts should be viewed as a positive for the team.
Comfortable on either side of midfield or centrally, and a player who gets his fair share of goals, Turan gives Enrique a decent set of options and coverage.
Regardless of whether his acquisition was seen as a stunt at the time, Arda Turan is one of very few players who will improve Barcelona and should be welcomed by all and sundry.
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