Connect in the back of the net

Andy’s latest “The Madrid-Barca Axis” column. 

It is always difficult moving to a club that has just won everything there is possible to win.

When you also throw in the fact that your new club is serving a transfer ban which will mean that you cannot play for the club for the first six months of your time there.

All of this is what Arda Turan has had to endure since his arrival at Barcelona in the summer of 2015.

Having been one of the standout performers in the league for several seasons during his time at Atletico Madrid the move appeared a fairly logical one by Luis Enrique.

With the ever increasing demands on player’s physical output the need to have a squad capable of being rotated but remaining at a high level has become vital.

However, after waiting to finally make his debut in January at the start of the year his transition into the side did not start brilliantly.

It must be extremely difficult to settle quickly into this current Barcelona side. Having learned your football style at other clubs you suddenly need to adapt your game to enable a system rather than a tactic.

With players like Lionel Messi and Neymar at the club too, your purpose as an attacking creator takes a slightly different turn as you become a provider rather than a goal scorer.

Despite this slightly uncertain start, there were still positive signs and it was clear to see that he had the ability to play in this team but just needed a little more time to settle into his new role and the demands that came with it.

As the season went on and he played more and more his form picked up and he began to understand the demands on him.

When you look at Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta and Sergi Roberto they just know instinctively what they need to do and when simply because they have been doing it for so long.

Enrique did not lose faith in his new man though and knew that with time he would adapt and would be a wonderful addition to his team.

This season has seen close to the best of Turan.

Having enjoyed a full preseason and then not having to wait until January to play a competitive game has been beneficial for all.

With the club adding several squad players in the summer the ability to rotate is clearly on Enrique’s mind as he attempts to mastermind another successful season.

He is able to play in the slightly deeper role when Iniesta is being rested but is also capable to playing a little further up if required. His wonderful technical ability and wide range of passing is perfectly suited to Enrique’s Barcelona and should see him flourish this season.

Moving clubs can always be tricky and was not straightforward in any sense. Ability has prevailed though and everyone looks forward to seeing Turan at his best for the rest of the season.

Rumours have emerged in the last week that he rejected a lucrative offer from an unknown Chinese club over the summer.

The fact that he rejected it on order to remain at Barca is a very positive sign and demonstrates not only his commitment to the club, but also to performing at the highest level.

There will be many hurdles to overcome in the months ahead, but it looks like Turan has found his feet.

 

Written by Andy Hunter

Follow Andy on Twitter @hunter67980

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