Why Beşiktaş should sell José Sosa

Updated: August 14, 2016

With AC Milan’s attractive 7,5 million euro offer coming in today, the question on the minds of many Beşiktaş fans is whether or not the Black Eagles should sell their top assister of this past 2015/16 season?

Despite his antics over the past month José Sosa remains a popular player among Beşiktaş fans as many consider him to be a quality player which will prove hard to replace, especially with only a good two weeks left in the transfer window and the 2016/17 Süper Lig season set to kick off in less than a week.

But it is important to know that under their Financial Fair Play settlement with UEFA, Beşiktaş will need to meet a certain breakeven requirement this season, they can have a deficit no larger than 10 million euros. That same requirement was set to 20 million euros last season and the Black Eagles met that requirement with only a small 2 million euros to spare.

Of course with winning the league and the subsequent qualification for the UEFA Champions League brings along with it a large influx of funds but that does not mean Beşiktaş will have an easy time meeting the requirement of their settlement this season.

When under such financial pressure, it is important that clubs don’t refuse offers that are really too good to refuse. At the end of the day José Sosa is a 31 year old player who has expressed his desire to leave the club, yes he has two years remaining on his contract but what is the point in keeping him against his will if good money is to be made on his transfer?

Not a big game player

Without a doubt José Sosa played a key role in the Black Eagles’ Championship success this past season, but the former Argentina international is yet to put his mark on a big derby game. Of course it’s important to win the “small” matches, but a player like Sosa should really be more influential in the big games. In the past Beşiktaş has players like Mehmet Özdilek, Sergen Yalçin and Tümer Metin who always showed up for those big games, Sosa on the other hand is rather anonymous in said games without playing bad. But the point I’m trying to get across here is that Sosa is not an irreplaceable cog in the well oiled machine that is Senol Güneş’ championship Beşiktaş side.

Frankly the only player that I consider to be irreplaceable is Mario Gómez, as under the current financial restraints it is pretty much impossible for the club to find a striker who is as clinical in front of goal as the big German.

Of course if Beşiktaş sell Sosa they would have to look at alternatives, but at this point it seems much mor eimportant for the club to add another quality strike rand central defender to the squad before an attacking midfielder, even if Sosa were to be sold.

Tolgay Arslan is still a minor question mark but his form during preseason has been very promising, add to that Aras Özbiliz who can also fill in behind the striker and both Quaresma and Oguzhan who can also play in that role. Even if a replacement weren’t brought in this window, it wouldn’t be a huge disaster.

Beşiktaş thusfar have only had money coming in from the transfers of Gökhan Töre (loan, €3m fee) and Alexis Delgado (€400k). The income from Sosa’s sale would be very welcome in the club’s quest to inject more quality in to their squad this summer.

Avoiding another Fernandes-situation

A few years ago Beşiktaş had another popular and influential player that many fans did not want to see sold, despite a lucrative offer from Russia coming in. Granted, the situation isn’t entirely the same as Fernandes only had one year left on his contract at the time and Sosa still has two years left. But in essence the situation is still quite similar.

Beşiktaş found out the hard way that you should not refuse a good offer on a player that has set their mind on a move. 3 years ago Beşiktaş were hoping to renew Fernandes’ contract during his final year, but the Portuguese midfielder refused and decided to cash-in, opting for a fat signing bonus on top of a lucrative contract in Russia. Yes, Sosa can’t do the same thing but if the past month has thought us anything the possibility of being left behind with a player lacking the proper motivation is very real. So what are you going to do in that case? Dump him with the u21 team for two years while still having to pay out his contract? In essence being out another 3 million euros rather than gaining 7,5m million euros? The difference between keeping him and running the risk of having an unmotivated player or seeling him could add up to 10,5 million euros.

Age is a very important factor

José Sosa’s age is also a very important factor, on top of the fact that he clearly wants the move to happen and there are very strong signs that if he is “forced” to stay that he will be unmotivated. At 31 years old, Sosa has come to a point in his career where his value is only going to decrease rather than increase. You can’t compare the situation of Sosa to for example Oguzhan who is also wanted by clubs. First and foremost Oguzhan is happy to stay atleast another year and has at no point pushed for a move and secondly Oguzhan is 24 years old, his value can easily still go up while Sosa’s simply can’t.

There is always the possibility that a Qatari club or a Chinese club come with a lucrative offer next summer, but that chance isn’t too big. Why you ask? Well frankly these clubs go for bigger names, initially the Chinese clubs were going for lower profile names but the past six months they have really upped their standards and are going for players like Jackson Martinez, Alex Teixeira, etc.

Yes you can keep hold of him for another year and hope that next summer, when he is about to enter his alst year of contract, a lucrative offer from the East comes in. You can do that, although that offer won’t be much higher, if higher at all. Because if he doesn’t have a good season, his value will drop, so those clubs won’t be willing to pay much anyway if they’re interested at all that is. While now you have a very good offer, that is there and ready to be accepted.

With a player in his mid 20s you can easly put off a sale for another season or two if the player is happy to stay and you are confident that he will atleast keep his value. But with a player on the wrong side of 30 you simply can’t do that, unless he is irreplaceable to your side and you rather keep him until retirement rather than cash-in while he still has a decent market value.

If you’re in a financial secure position you can say no to an offer like this, eventhough I firmly believe it is never good business to say no to a good offer for a 30+ player, unless we’re talking about a player like Mario Gómez. But in our position, we simply can’t say no to t his money, money that can be invested in a younger player or in a player we simply need more right now.



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Kaan Bayazit

Editor-in-chief at Beşiktaş International
Freelance sports writer specialized in Turkish football and Beşiktaş. Co-host of the Black Eagles podcast. Frequently featured in World Soccer Digest Japan and many other international media outlets. Following Turkish football for close to two decades. Proud father to Aedin.
Kaan Bayazit
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