Arda Turan ready for gruelling challenge at Barcelona

Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have agreed to a deal to bear the rights of Turkish sensation Arda Turan. The two club sides settled for a fee of €34 million plus a potential €7 million in bonuses, Arda reportedly put pen to paper on a five year contract worth approximately €8M per season.

As a result of the board's self-inflicted transfer ban that stretches onto January, Arda will have to wait six months before showing-off his skills in front of the Barcelona faithful and his favorite stadium, as said by Turan, "Playing at Barca is a dream, every footballer wants to play at the Camp Nou, the best stadium I've been at.”

Turan is a fine product of the Galatasaray youth system. At the age of 21 he was rewarded the captain's armband; this demonstration of strong leadership skills at such a premature age spoke volumes of the type of player Galatasaray had inherited.

After a successful tenure with the Turkish side scoring 45 times in 197 appearances, Los Colchoneros came knocking at the door for the burgeoning midfielder. During his four years with Atleti, he helped salvage La Liga, Europa League, Spanish Supercup, and European Supercup, quite the accomplishments for a club that were always playing third fiddle to the likes of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.

Despite Turan and Los Rojiblancos coming to an extension that ran until June 2017, the Turk wanted out and began fielding interest from the likes of Manchester United, Chelsea, and FC Barcelona. Reasons as to why Arda wanted to flee the Spanish capital, the physical demands of playing in the Diego Simeone system and his unfair contract, one in which he felt undervalued -- An eye-raising pair of issues that quite frankly make you wonder how much of a diva he truly can be when the chips don’t fall his way. 

In contempt of most of those lamentable reasons, Barcelona is getting one true footballer that will bring plenty of smiles to Culers worldwide. Arda possesses an exquisite array of talent with his feet, he has an uncanny ability to take on players unaided and getting past them in methodical ways one that doesn’t include much speed, but rather with special technicality and gargantuan body strength.

Don’t let the lackluster stats fool you, 22 goals and 32 assists in 178 appearances with Atleti. Arda brings much more to the game that can’t be quantified into any score sheet. His passing ability is exceptional, conversation can be stirred up that he is only behind La Masia graduates Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi in that category. Arda’s average pass accuracy was an 85 percent this past season, best on his team. Expect an intense battle for that third midfield spot between Ivan Rakitic and Arda Turan, both special players put together in a unique midfield. It should be an interesting battle as the season creeps upon us.

All in all, Arda Turan is ecstatic to be in Barcelona. When asked about him being familiar with the city of Barcelona, he responded, “I love Barcelona. I was born in Istanbul, close to the sea. And from now on I will be lucky enough to be able to wake up every day near to the sea once again. But the most important way to feel comfortable in a city is to be successful in it. And I’m sure that will be the case.”

Like most professionals, the possibility of playing alongside a living legend in Lionel Messi is too big to pass up on; Arda Turan also had high praise for La Pulga, “He’s simply the best player ever. I have said that in lots of interviews and I still think the same. He’s the best. It will be honour to wear the same shirt as him and play in the same team.” I mean, who can blame him, right?

This season has the makings to be one of the most special ever, the MSN’s chemistry at an all time high, added depth and quality in the midfield, and a solid backline that showed no sign of weakness.

Unless unexpected disaster strikes, a sextuple is not such a far away cry as once thought.

Published by Alexander Del Valle, columnist at Barcablog. Follow him on Twitter @AlexanderDelV

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