While January isn't exactly around the corner, Arda Turan does not seem to be to anxious about not playing for Barcelona yet.
The Turkish midfielder is currently recovering from injury, but since joining the Blaugrana, he has worked hard to know the club philosophy, the tactical schemes and is creating a nice bond with his teammates. He even joked that Lionel Messi, the team's biggest star, offered to give Arda the number 10 shirt that both have been wearing for a long time.
Arda was back home during a Friday event in Istambul, and he gave interviews to various outlets, talking about his new club, life in a new city, getting to know his teammates and his former team, Atlético Madrid. Here's a few quotes:
Galatasaray loan: "Galatasaray didn’t try to take me on loan. To do that, they would have spent all of the money which they have reserved for the youth team and I don’t want Galatasaray to spend a lot of money on me. Besides, Luis Enrique wants me to continue in Barcelona and be close to the team".
Not being able to play: "The days are flying past quickly in Barcelona. I thought that it might be difficult to go for six months without playing but I am trying to prepare myself for when I am finally able to play. My team mates are helping me and make me feel a part of the club. The months running up to January will be very different, but I will try to adapt to my situation. I’ll feel a bit sad not being able to play until then but I have to look at the positive side and turn it to my advantage to prepare myself. I’ve dreamed about this since I was a kid".
What is Luis Enrique expecting from you? "He wants the Arda he saw at Atlético – a player who is fully involved and prepared to adapt to the system. I think I am able to play in any of the midfield positions".
Champions League: "Barça always want to win the Champions League. I hope we can win it again this season. I’ll be playing with some of the best players around and Barça are one of the candidates to win it. With this team I feel a lot closer to be able to win it".
Barça, a "special club": "The team has its own philosophy in the way it plays. The club places a lot of importance on the youth teams. Barca’s special for a lot of reasons".
Squad number: "I’d like to wear the number 14 shirt; my father was a big fan of Johan Cruyff as a player...".
Did your transfer to Barça have anything to do with the Turkish companies which sponsor the club? "That had no influence whatsoever. I can understand why some people wouldn’t want me at Barça but they shouldn’t be saying things which are not true or are just rumours. They should have some respect for me. I am a Barça player because I have worked very hard to be here".
Atlético, the Calderón: "They always loved me. Atlético fans are very important to me. Atléti will always be in my heart. But we are in a professional world. Barcelona was my dream and that’s why I decided to join them. My agent would tell me about clubs that were interested in me but Barça were never among them. When he finally told me that they were keen on signing me, I was wild with happiness. My lawyer told me to have a look at my contract but I told him that there was no need, ‘I want to sign it now".
It's so good to see that he's settling in at Barça. I'm really excited for what this guy can do starting in January.