Although Turkey have produced a plethora exciting footballers over the years, the players’ journey from Super Lig to Premier League, however, has not been productive on most occasions. Superstars like Hakan Sukur and Nuri Sahin failed to leave a mark during their brief spells, whereas the likes of Tuncay Sanli, Tugay Kerimoğlu, and Muzzy Izzet earned ‘cult’ status during their Premier League tenure. The top tier of English football doesn’t have any Turkish professional right now but might have one very soon, as per reports from several outlets.
Çağlar Söyüncü of SC Freiburg has been linked with to a move to Premier League amidst interests from English heavyweights. The 21-year-old Turkish international centre-back is being monitored by both the Manchester clubs as well as Liverpool, who are willing to acquire the €20m-rated Bundesliga star in the upcoming January transfer window.
He was brought in by the German outfit last summer following their top tier promotion and the signing from Altınordu became the first ever player to complete a Bundesliga transfer from TFF First League i.e. the second division in Turkish football. He, however, soon broke into the Freiburg first-team and went on to make 24 league appearances for the Breisgau-Brasilianer, who achieved a sensational 7th-placed league finish by defying all odds. Söyüncü left a massive impact on their backline, as the youngster’s leadership skills impressed many people.
He was a transfer target of the likes of Manchester City, AS Roma and Villarreal CF back in January 2017 following his early impressions, but opted to stay put and enjoy his football with SC Freiburg.
Söyüncü, a fan of legendary Spanish defender Carles Puyol, has represented his country in several youth ranks before making his senior debut last year and has been capped 9 times for his nation so far. Although he joined the Bundesliga outfit for his career growth, the Turkish international is unlikely to stay there for much longer due to sincere interest from several top European outfits.
Freiburg are struggling in the league this campaign but Söyüncü has been a regular starter and has already shown signs of further improvement. Hence, a move might be on cards for the youngster in order for him to experience bigger glory than escaping relegation scare.
He is hailed for his leadership traits along with no-nonsense defending. Söyüncü is 6ft 2in tall and that helps him to command aerially as well as physically, during set-piece moves in both ends. Although he is a bit rusty at times while making challenges, the young centre-back has a great sense of positioning. He has good intercepting, blocking and tackling attributes, along with dribbling skills.
Manchester City might be seeking a long-term replacement of skipper Vincent Kompany, whose career has been marred by injuries in the past few years. Manchester United, their city rivals, could be looking to add more quality to their defence as well, following some disappointing outings from young Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof. Liverpool do not have a quality central defensive partner for Joel Matip, as both Ragnar Klavan and Dejan Lovren have failed to stake a claim.
It will be interesting to see where the youngster ends up eventually. I feel that Liverpool should sign Söyüncü as they are the ones in dire need of defensive reinforcements.