ANKARA

Despite facing some financial struggles caused by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the Turkish football clubs had busy days to sign new players in the 2020-21 winter transfer window.

Super Lig leaders Fenerbahce signed one of the most sensational transfers in Turkish football, the 2014 FIFA World Cup winner Mesut Ozil.

One of the most respected attacking midfielders Ozil, 32, made his way from English club Arsenal to Fenerbahce. The Turkish club signed him on a free transfer.

Before his seven-and-a-half-year spell in London, Ozil played for Spain’s Real Madrid to win the 2012 Spanish La Liga title.

Hundred of thousands of people tracked his flight on a real-time flight app “Flightradar24” when he came from London to Istanbul on a private jet.

The German star of Turkish descent penned a three-and-a-half-year deal with Fenerbahce on Jan. 24.

In addition to Ozil, Fenerbahce acquired Irfan Can Kahveci from Medipol Basaksehir to strengthen the team’s midfield position.

Kahveci is one of the most important Turkish players for the center of the park. Fenerbahce and archrivals Galatasaray competed against each other for him. Kahveci eventually signed for Fenerbahce.

Kahveci helped Basaksehir win their first-ever Turkish league title last season.

Hungarian defender Attila Szalai from Apollon Limassol and Queens Park Rangers’ winger Bright Osayi-Samuel were other signings for the Yellow Canaries to be competitive in the title race until the end of the season.

In this process Fenerbahce let their Moroccan winger Nabil Dirar go to his ex-club in Belgium, Club Brugge last weekend.

Swiss target man Kemal Ademi was loaned to another Istanbul club, Fatih Karagumruk.

Fenerbahce’s Turkish midfielder Tolga Cigerci moved to Basaksehir.

– Galatasaray sign 5 players

Title contenders Galatasaray added five more players to their first team, including their ex-winger from Nigeria, Henry Onyekuru.

Onyekuru, US right-back DeAndre Yedlin, Portuguese midfielder Gedson Fernandes, Egyptian forward Mostafa Mohamed and Turkish forward Halil Dervisoglu joined Galatasaray in the winter transfer window.

Galatasaray loaned Onyekuru from Monaco last week.

The 23-year-old was part of Galatasaray in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns, helping the team claim the league title and Turkish Cup in 2019.

Besides, Turkish talent Dervisoglu, 21, joined from English Championship club Brentford FC on loan until the end of this season.

On Monday Galatasaray completed the signing of three players, Yedlin, Fernandes and Mohamed.

Yedlin joined the Lions on a free transfer from Newcastle United. Fernandes was loaned from Benfica until the end of the season.
Mohamed was another signing for Galatasaray on the final day of the winter transfer window.

Galatasaray acquired the 23-year-old player from Zamalek Sporting Club on a one-and-a-half-year loan deal with an option to buy.

The Istanbul club’s Senegalese forward Mbaye Diagne was loaned to West Bromwich Albion last week.

– Cenk Tosun rejoins Besiktas
Besiktas cemented the senior team squad with a familiar player, Turkish international forward Cenk Tosun.

On Monday the Black Eagles signed the 29-year-old on loan from England’s Everton.

Tosun was a Besiktas forward in 2014-2018 to claim two Super Lig titles.
Besiktas also completed young right-back Bilal Ceylan’s move from the lower division side Eskisehirspor.

The Istanbul club loaned out several players such as Nicolas-Isimat Mirin and Jeremain Lens (Fatih Karagumruk), Tyler Boyd (Demir Grup Sivasspor), and Guven Yalcin (Lecce).

– Trabzonspor fortify midfield position

The Black Sea club Trabzonspor got three midfielders in the winter transfer window.

Anastasios Bakasetas (Aytemiz Alanyaspor), Berat Ayberk Ozdemir (Genclerbirligi) and Yunus Malli (Wolfsburg) are the new Trabzonspor players.

Turkish defensive midfielder Ozdemir joined Trabzonspor from Genclerbirligi on Jan. 5.

Trabzonspor had two attacking midfielders near the end of the winter transfer window.

Greek national Bakasetas became a Trabzonspor player last weekend, Yunus Malli completed his move to the Turkish team on Monday, his first overseas experience.

– Erzurumspor acquire 12 players

Buyuksehir Belediye Erzurumspor had the most signings during the Super Lig’s winter transfer window.

The club from east Turkey had 12 players.

Brahim Darri (Free agent), Jakub Szumski (Rakow), Aatıf Chahechouhe (Fatih Karagumruk), Johanna Omolo (Cercle Brugge), Manuel Da Costa (Free agent), Mostapha El Kabir (Sorgryte), Elba Rashani (Odds BK), Goktug Bakirbas (Goztepe), Bohdan Butko (Shakhtar Donetsk), Rahman Bugra Cagiran, Yaw Ackah (Hes Kablo Kayserispor), and Zakarya Bergdich (Yukatel Denizlispor) moved to Erzurumspor.

Meanwhile, a club from the Turkish Mediterranean, Fraport TAV Antalyaspor, did not sign any player in the 2021 winter.

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