In search of the right transfer policy

Updated: July 2, 2015

This season Beşiktaş couldn’t win the league, nor qualify for the Champions League qualifiers. But with the football they played, they gave joy to fans, sometimes they dominated, sometimes they played the right game. They also did a good job in the Europa League.

All of this happened with some short-comings. The squad depth wasn’t enough for competing on three fronts, our defence also wasn’t very solid. In addition to all of this, Beşiktaş had no stadium so they either played outside of Istanbul or played at the Atatürk Olimpiyat Stadium, which is not an attractive place for fans and it’s weather conditions are not suitable fot football. At the beginning of the year the team gave some hope to fans but it didn’t end as it started. Beşiktaş ended third when all was said and done without even scoring in, let alone win, a derby game with the major rivals Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray.

Despite all of these negative aspects, Beşiktaş are the most popular team to talk about during the current transfer window. As Fenerbahçe have a new sportive director and Galatasaray are trying to build a Champions League quality team to avoid another European debacle, Beşiktaş are the main attraction. No, Beşiktaş are not going after ‘world-class’ players like during the Demirören era, they are the main attraction because of the offers which the club have received so far. Turkey is not a place known for selling players, our country, unfortunately, is a place that players look to relax and earn money as our clubs offer crazy wages. Even if a Turkish giant club receives an offer for a player, especially if it is a star player, that player generally is not sold. Two years ago when Önder Özen came, everyone thought that if Beşiktaş, and other clubs as well, would be professional as they should be, but as Önder Özen resigned last year everyone lost their hopes and called what they thought being a “Polyanna”.

Even though Özen’s departure, Beşiktaş seems to make right moves. There may be some wrong moves in transfers like Eneramo, Sezer and Gökhan Süzen but it seems like the board has learned their lesson. It will take so long to talk all about them so just look at the mentality, buy and sell.

Quaresma, Fernandes, Almeida and Bobo… All of these have a common denominater, good players from Beşiktaş, received some offers, club didn’t accept and they left for free. All of the offers for each other were different but they would clearly make profit. The reason they weren’t sold was simply this “Who will we buy to replace him? He is a star, we need him!” but in the end all of them left as their contracts ended. This is not only valid for Beşiktaş, it is valid for most of the Turkish teams. Of course being a Porto, Atletico Madrid or Sevilla is not easy. You must have a decent scouting department, good facilities, and most importantly a plan, especially for young players. Most, maybe all, are not what Turkish teams have. Facilities are not good enough, clubs don’t have plans for their future they just try to save the day, scouting departments are new in our country, also presidents prefer star players to sign.

But all of them are getting better, very slowly though. Some clubs are renewing their facilities, even making new ones. Scouting is becoming common, the interest in youth teams is increasing. It is not enough for sure but at least there are some developments. Now let’s not get in to the system too much. The main point is what Beşiktaş has done in the last 1-1.5 years.Rather than buying star players, giving them high wages and fooling fans, Beşiktaş decided to pay for players who have potential, players they can profit. Gökhan Töre was a hot prospect but they first looked at him by loaning him then bought him, two years ago he was a player with potential who couldn’t do much in his career. Pedro Franco, most didn’t know and moaned about his fee as he didn’t play in last years’ first part, now he is wanted by Porto and Manchester City, City wanted him before his transfer to Beşiktaş by the way. Milosevic couldn’t play much at Beşiktaş due to an injury but he was bought from Sweden, it is important to look at Scandinavia, we clearly look as we wanted Linnes before for the right back position. As players from there are full of potential but not very expensive, that place is like the first part of players’ journey. Now Milosevic is wanted by many European clubs as he performed well for Sweden in UEFA U21 Championship.

If you say that there are just rumours we have two solid examples, Demba Ba and Atınç Nukan. Last year Ba was transferred for € 6 million, which was cheap for him. When € 13 million offers came, our club sold him without a secound thought. Of course we may not find a striker as good as Demba Ba, but in any case selling him was the right decision, especially under the economic situation of the club. The arrival of Ba for that fee was kind of a miracle, but his performance and offer for him wasn’t, it was a plan for sure, this is a success. It is a sign that shows we have taken a lesson from what happened in the past.

About Atınç, I didn’t think in that way. € 5 million was good enough for him but I think about him. He is 1.96 and he is fast and a decent technical player at his height. In 1-2 year, with the special trainings he have, he could be sold to € 10-15 million in my opinion as there are not much of his kind in football today. He was strong in the air, he was strong on challenges. He is diligent as he said, he worked hard for the jersey and now he is off to Europe. We wish the best for him.

There is one more thing that I want to talk about Atınç. He is not going to take millions of €’s at Leipzig, he said that “Their plans impressed me”. Also when Ragnick came to Istanbul he told Atınç that they will go on him and make him one of the best. What I want to highlight is that when signing a youth talent, money isn’t the biggest issue, having a plan, having some plans for him and the club is the main thing. Of course there are some others like Lanzini. Leipzig may be in the second Bundesliga but the financial resources they have and the plan, they can be at a higher position in the coming years. Atınç also talked about that.

There is € 18 million in our hands, there are 4-5 transfers to be made, also some speculations about our players on the press as well. The reality cant’t be known as media can utilize from our players but those offers may be real as we have players with high potential. Also buy-play-sell is important but doing it with a balance is the most important thing. As many players go, many player will come and this can spoil the chemistry of the team, especially in defence, that is my worry. I can’t say that right transfer policy is found as it is too early to talk but I hope that it will continue, become a system and some other clubs to follow it.


Editorial by Ege Erdogan