Arsenal and those who love them have no need to feel aggrieved for being Arda Turan’s ‘Plan B’, despite the English press suggesting as much.
The Turkish international, who moved from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona last summer told Diari Ara:
“I felt that I would sign for Barca. Honestly, I thought: ‘If I play very well I’ll end up signing for Barca, because my style fits this team. If I play well, I’ll finish at Arsenal’.”
“For my style, with the ball, playing easy, short, aggressive when needed, but especially good, I knew I could get here in Barcelona.”
It may not do wonders for the Gunners’ self confidence to be the second choice of a less-than-integral-member of Luis Enrique’s squad, but a diss Turan’s words are not.
Los Blaugrana are the reigning champions of Spain, Europe and the world – no side could possibly compare with them in terms of allure.
Arsenal have won one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup and one Cup Winners’ Cup in their history.
Barca are 5/2 favourites to become the first team ever to retain the Champions League and six-time kings of Europe in the process.
Meanwhile, Arsenal were his second choice, which, when the first is the Camp Nou outfit is no shame. Turan wasn’t holding out for a move to Tottenham after all.
A La Liga-winning forward such as the Turk could arguably have gone more or less wherever he pleased had he chosen to move sideways instead of into the ultra-exclusive elite clubs of which Barcelona are a part.
Far from feeling chided by his suggestion that Gunners were his second choice employer, they should be fortified by such an acknowledgement.
It is evident that while they aren’t on Barcelona’s level at present, an incontrovertible truth, the north London side have the respect of players with the potential to play for the Catalans both in terms of footballing style and as a club.