Chelsea scout admits interest in Besiktas midfielder

Chelsea scout Eddie Newton has confirmed that the Blues had kept a keen interest Besiktas midfielder Oguzhan Özyakup in the past, though he admits that the Turk is more suited to Arsenal’s style of play. Ozyakup had been tipped for a return to the Emirates during the winter transfer window, but the Gunners were only willing to pay half of Besiktas’ €12m valuation for the midfielder.

Speaking to Aksam, Newton rated the 25-year-old highly after watching the players in close quarters. He continued to praise the player’s composure with the ball at his feet, and believes he could be ideal signing for Arsene Wenger’s side, he said: “We followed him before. For me he will suit the Arsenal system. He’s technically strong, calm, and composed on the ball and also a good passer.”
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Besiktas eyeing Arsenal striker as Cenk Tosun replacement?

Turkish giants Besiktas have reportedly identified Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck as a potential replacement for Cenk Tosun, who joined Everton earlier this month. Tosun joined the Merseyside outfit in a £27m deal, and the Istanbul outfit are now aiming to push through a potential replacement.

According to Aspor, Welbeck is the prime target on the club’s shortlist, and club president Fikret Orman is likely to open up negotiations with the Gunners over a proposed move. The England international began the campaign in fine fashion as he netted three goals prior to the first international break.
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Dick Advocaat steps down from Netherlands job

Dick Advocaat resigned from the Netherlands’ head coach role following their 3-0 win over Romania in an international friendly this week. Memphis Depay, Ryan Babel and Luuk de Jong found the scoresheet in the second-half as Advocaat received the perfect send-off at the Arena Nationala in Bucharest.

Advocaat was tasked with the difficult job of steering Holland to the 2018 World Cup earlier this year, and he could not help them progress as they finished behind France and Sweden – the latter whom qualified for the finals after beating Italy in a two-legged play-off.
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Babel puts blame on Rafa Benitez for his Liverpool struggles

Netherlands international Ryan Babel has said that he struggled during his time at Liverpool due to the poor handling from then-manager Rafa Benitez. The Dutch winger is currently in the ranks of Besiktas, where he has become an influential player in the starting lineup.

Speaking about his time at Anfield, Babel revealed that the change of position from Benitez did not help his chances of adapting to the Premier League, he said: “This was my first time going abroad and also living by myself. The adaptation… every day was a new surprise. I soon figured that in the Premier League they call you a flop very quick. I was only used to 4-3-3. For me as a left-winger you have also a left midfielder and a left-back behind you. But in a 4-4-2 you are basically also the left midfielder so you have to help more in defence and I wasn’t used to that. That was mostly the criticism I got, that they couldn’t trust me in defensive work.”
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Ryan Babel makes Netherlands squad after six-year absence

Former Liverpool attacker Ryan Babel has been named in Dick Advocaat’s Netherlands squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Belarus and Sweden.

The 30-year-old makes his comeback to the national side after a six-year hiatus, where he has played across Europe.

Babel, who made 91 appearances for the Reds between 2007 and 2011, has hit form with Besiktas this term with goals in the Champions League games against RB Leipzig and Porto. On top, he has also managed three goals in the Turkish Super Lig, and that form has made it hard for Advocaat to ignore him for selection.

Netherlands are currently in a precarious position of missing out on the World Cup qualifiers, and Babel will hope to contribute in must-win games against Belarus and Sweden. The Flying Dutchmen are currently in a straight fight with Sweden for the playoff spot in second place, and they will have to beat them by a significant margin in order to overcome the goal difference. Continue reading

Besiktas plot late raid to sign Diego Costa

Turkish giants Besiktas are reportedly prepared to lodge a late raid to sign Spanish striker Diego Costa from Chelsea.

The 28-year-old is currently on an indefinite strike in his native Brazil after Antonio Conte decided to exclude him from his first-team plans via a text message in June.

According to OK Diario, Costa could leave Stamford Bridge on a temporary basis to Istanbul this week with the Turkish transfer window only due to close on Friday. Costa has recently been included in the Blues’ Premier League squad for the current campaign, but he has yet to end his self-imposed exile in Brazil after his move to Atletico Madrid fell through.

Diego Simeone’s side were eager to wrap up a deadline-day move for their former striker, but they could not finalise an agreement with the Blues, who were reluctant to negotiate on their £50m asking price. As a result, Atleti are likely to return for the marksman in the New Year when they will have their transfer ban lifted. Continue reading


Sunderland manager Simon Grayson says he is working hard to get more players in ahead of the August 31 deadline.

The team moved to the second round of the Carabao Cup recently after defeating Bury by the slimmest of margins. The Black Cats are poised to clash with Norwich in a Championship clash next but the manager is focused on getting an attacker.

Sunderland have been linked with Grant Leadbitter but Grayson refused to confirm the interest in the city-bon star. So far they are in negotiations with Aston Villa over a possible transfer for Ross McCormack.

The Chronicle claims the club would likely complete the deal for cheap but decent attacking option YassineAyoubfrom FC Ultrecht this summer. Leicester City are also on the case of the Dutch winger and being a top flight side it might appeal more to the player.

Ayoubis a product of the Ajax academy. He can play in central and left midfield. He is in his final 12 months with his current side but seems interested in a move away from the club. The 23-year old has been a major player in the team since he joined in 2012 but he could move to England soon. Continue reading


Liverpool fans are still emotional over the departure of long serving star Lucas Leiva.

The Brazilian joined the Merseyside in 2007 from his home country. He used to feature for Gremio before he made his switch when Rafa Benitez convinced him to move.

Of all the additions that year by the Spanish coach, Leiva was the least exciting. Israeli Yossi Benayoun was a creative force, Ryan Babel was a Dutch striker and Fernando Torres was the goal machine from Atletico Madrid.

Steven Gerrard, Javier Mascherano and Xabi Alonso were the generals in the midfield so Leiva had to fight for a spot in the team from day one. The pressure from the beginning could have overwhelmed him but his resilience and calm is exceptional. He made many mistakes as he tried handling the pressure of expectations and that of his roles. Continue reading


Cristiano Ronaldo is a player loved by many both in his country home, in Europe and all over the world, due to his style of play and his goal scoring ability.

However, he is always compared side by side in terms of achievement with Barcelona forward, Lionel Messi.

DuskoTosic, Beskitas defender is one who is yet to be impressed by any of the two, especially Ronaldo.Tosic stated that on various occasions, he has faced off with Ronaldo and he was not impressed by his style of play.

The 32-year old also noted that if he to pick members of his team, he would not be inclined to pick either the Portuguese striker or Messi over any of his current Beskitas team mates.

“I would not replace anyone at Besiktas in favour of Messi or Ronaldo,” Tosic told Fanatik, as quoted by Four Four Two.

“I love my team-mates and my team.

“Besides, I played against Ronaldo in the past and he never impressed me. He played like he was not even there,” he added.

For almost a decade, Messi and Ronaldo have dominated the Spanish football space, winning a combined nine Ballon d’Or awards between them.

However, Tosic states that he prefers the attacking style and talents of star players such as Anderson Talisca,CenkTosun,Ryan Babel and Vincent Aboubakar.

Ronaldo is yet to make any comments on the criticism from Tosic who has appeared for Serbia in 19 international games with incredible success.

In the history of the game of football, Messi and Ronaldo remain the finest players with outstanding records at Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively. In the Super Lig, Tosic has also made a name for himself, helping Beskitas to win two consecutive titles.

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Besiktas forward Ryan Babel is disappointed that he was snubbed from the list of invited players for the Netherlands national team.

He says it is “a shame” that his efforts in Turkey continue to be ignored even after a good season.

The 30-year old has obvious talent which is known for but he struggles at consistency. Since moving to Turkey to play for Beskitas, he has been decent. He scored eight goals and helped three in all competitions. He was instrumental as the club won its 15th Turkish Spor Toto Super Lig title.

Beskitas defeated competition from other team to win the league with a game in hand. Their performance sent them straight to the Champions League group stage next season without going through the qualifiers.

Coach Dick Advocaat yet ignored him when he drew up his list of players for the international window. The Dutch side are hoping to play Morocco and Ivory Coast in friendly games. 

“They said my career was finished. A shame the Dutch national team doesn’t want to use my confidence & current form in this crucial time,” the outspoken player shared online.

Babel is in better form that Manchester United flop Memphis Depay and Spurs’ wonder flop Vincent Janssen. The Netherlands failed to qualify for Euro 2016 and they have had a mixed start to the qualification of next year’s World Cup. They lost to France and Bulgaria but are hoping to still qualify for the tournament.

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