Remember Ali Ozgun? Our top goalscorer from last season?
Yeah… we sold him…My thought process was that he’s 32 and he was about to enter the final year of his contract so lets just cash in now.
King Kaan joins us permanently! He is the absolute rock of our defence, I had to try and sign him, it set us back £375k but he is absolutely worth it.
We spent £2k on bringing Goalkeeper Batuhan Sen in from Galatasaray. Then we dipped into the free agent market and picked up a LB/LWB called Julien Serrano who had been released by Monaco, Iranian international defender Iman Salimi came in to add some much need experience. We also picked up striker Basit Umar on a free. With a small amount of money left in the budget and needing more depth in defence we signed Özgür Çek, also a LB/LWB from Manisa for £30k.
Needing a bit more creativity in midfield we brought in youngster Hamza Akman on loan from Galatasaray and we found a player that some Arsenal fans may recognise:
Gedion Zelalem, once on the books of the Premier League club had just been released by New York FC so we swooped in and picked him up for free. Finally, young forward Samuel Noireau-Dauriat signs on loan from PSG.
Other than Ali the biggest game leaving us was Onur Toprak, I just couldn’t turn down £140k, and as you will see we changed formation so as a winger he wasn’t going to get first team football.
Going into the season this is how we lined up:
We have gone for a 5-3-2 formation to provide a bit more defensive stability, Kaan and Ümit both starters from last season are joined by Salimi in central defence. Mustafa and Serrano offer an outlet to counter attack while playing as wing backs. Serkan is there to provide some cover in central midfield while Irfan and Zelalem have the creative licence to go forward. Mustafa Tahir who spent most of last season complaining about a lack of first team football gets his chance and begins as a DLF, while our young loanee Noireau-Dauriat plays as the poacher.
Our media prediction for the season is 18th, we are tipped for relegation. I am quietly confident we can avoid the drop, I think we could potentially reach mid-table but honestly I would just be happy to stay up this season.
Well what a start! As we reached the break for the 2022 World Cup we had only lost 2 games! Mustafa Tahir took his chance in the first team, scoring 13 goals in 18 games. The system really worked to nullify our opponents attacking threats and then the shorter passing allowed us to keep possession.
As we reach the halfway point of the season, the inbox item that we all dream of popped up… time will tell if this actually is a golden generation but I am hopeful.
Overall… I couldn’t have wished for a better start to the season!