Writer: Richard McCormick
Date:Monday June 23 2008
In the absence of England from the European Championship (no bad thing, at least the pubs don`t get smashed up after a quarter-final defeat on penalties) the tournament has been something of a scouting mission for the armchair fan. The usual names have drawn attention. Arshavin, Podolski, Gomis, Pavlyuchenko et al. Lower in profile, but performing better than all of them has been Turkey`s Arda Turan.
A rising star at Galatasaray, he can play on either wing, is not averse to hard work and against Croatia, where the defenders closed him down, he had the intelligence to keep his game short and simple. He would surely thrive in the Premier League.
His performances have not gone unnoticed. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger made admiring noises, prompting speculation of a move to the Emirates.
'Yes, I think that Arda is an extremely good talent, one of the best in the Turkish squad and I think he has the capabilities to perform at the top level,` he said when questioned. Newcastle were linked, earlier in the summer with a fee of £11 million being quoted, but then they always pay over the odds.
Given that, a move by Bolton is probably in the realms of dreamland, although a cheeky bid involving the want-away El Hadji Diouf, plus cash would be worth a shot. The player himself is keen to try his luck abroad.
'I would like to play in either England or Spain,' he commented, 'Okan, Emre and Arif Erdem are admired by everyone in Turkey for what they have done in Europe.'
It can`t be long before the talented Arda Turan is getting similar acclaim.
Date:Monday June 23 2008
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