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Turkish Soccer Attracting Some Big Names

The Turkish Superliga has been on the rise for some time and has had its fair share of star players. This summer the league has been active in attracting some quality players to the league, including names like Robin van Persie and Lukas Podolski.

The big clubs have been the ones taking some calculated risks this summer in bringing in big names. It’s always a gamble when you take in players from another league and pay them huge amounts of money, since the league is different from other leagues in Europe.

Galatasaray won the league last season, three points ahead of Fenerbahce. They have brought in Lukas Podolski from Arsenal for around $8 million. The 30-year-old German spent part of last season on loan at Inter Milan, but he failed to impress them enough to use the buyout option.

Podolski is a seasoned veteran with 125 caps for the German national team and can be used both as an attacking winger or as a forward. During his time at Arsenal he scored 31 goals in 82 appearances. He’s scored 48 times for the German national team. Podolski will be one of the most well-known player in addition to Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder as Galatasaray look to defend its crown.

Runners-up Fenerbahce replied by signing Robin van Persie from Manchester United in an effort to improve the team. They fell short by just three points last season, and with an addition like van Persie, Fenerbahce could easily close that gap.

Van Persie is coming over to Turkey after spending 11 years in the Premier League with Arsenal and Manchester United. After a very successful first season at Old Trafford with United in 2012-13 where he scored 26 league goals, he’s been struggling with injuries and his production diminished.

Last season, he was only featured in 29 games while scoring 10 goals. Fenerbahce ponied up the cash to bring him to Turkey and he’s a major signing for the Turkish league as they try to make a mark in the European club competitions.

The Dutchman isn’t the only big signing for Fenerbahce this summer as they also have brought in Portuguese winger Nani, 28, also from Manchester United. Nani spent last season on loan at Sporting Lisbon, but before that he featured in the United first team for seven seasons. He ended up wearing the United shirt on 230 occasions and also has 86 caps for the Portuguese national team.

Fenerbahce also made a move for Danish center back Simon Kjaer. The 26-year-old Danish international have a lot of experience from Serie A with Palermo and Roma and also from Bundesliga with Wolfsburg. He spent the last two years with Lille in the French Ligue 1 and has represented Denmark on 50 occasions.

Third-placed Besiktas has brought in German right-back Andreas Beck from Hoffenheim. Beck, 28, spent seven years with Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga, playing over 190 league games. He has represented the German national team nine times, and been apart of several youth national sides, including the Under-21 team that won the 2009 European Championship in Sweden.

Besiktas also made a permanent deal for Argentinian midfielder Jose Sosa from Ukrainian side Metalist Kharkiv. Sosa spent last season at Besiktas on loan and impressed enough for the Besiktas brass to decide to make the deal permanent. He played in 24 league games last season and scored five goals. The 30-year-old attacking midfielder has represented the Argentinian national team on 19 occasions and was part of the Olympic winning side in 2008 in Beijing.

The team is also rumored to be closing in on a deal for Fiorentina’s German striker Mario Gomez.

With the top Turkish teams doing well in the Champions League and the Europa League, it helps raising the attraction power of the league and the fact that players like van Persie and Podolski now will play in the Superliga will raise the interest in the league even more.

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