Friday, 11 October 2019

Leicester have Soyuncu, the Turkey centre-half with super-human strength

The Turkey international has been a revelation since stepping into the void left behind by the England centre-half, who joined Man Utd this summer

The new Premier League season may only be a couple of months old but Leicester fans now like to sing, "Harry Maguire, we don't need you, we have Caglar Soyuncu!"

And why not?

Leicester may have lost their star centre-half to Manchester United during the summer but that £80 million ($100m) sale is now looking like a masterstroke, with Soyuncu ensuring that Maguire's absence is not being felt at all.

Indeed, manager Brendan Rodgers has made no secret of his goal to break up the Premier League's 'Big Six' this season and there is now a growing belief around the King Power Stadium that the fourth-placed Foxes could be set for their best campaign since their shock title win in 2015-16.

Certainly, the concerns which surfaced following Maguire's departure to Old Trafford have been soothed by Soyuncu and his fine form, with the Turkey international having played a major role in Leicester shipping just seven goals this season – only leaders Liverpool have conceded fewer.

Soyuncu initially struggled to settle in England, after his £19m ($24m) transfer from Freiburg last season, but Hamit Altintop, the former Schalke and Bayern Munich ace now working in youth and coaching development for the Turkish Football Federation, says that Rodgers deserves immense credit for the way in which he handled the 23-year-old's situation.

"We had meetings with Caglar to discuss his development and he was a little bit nervous [about his lack of game time]," Altintop told Goal at Leaders Week in London, as he presented Istanbul's plan to host the Champions League final in 2020.

"Young people always think that, if they aren't playing, they are bad players or that they need to join another team. But it’s all part of the learning process.

"I think Leicester is a good team for the development of players like Caglar. The time when you use these players is important and Caglar is now ready.

"Brendan Rodgers deserves thanks for Soyuncu’s development. I think this is a career that other Turkish players need to understand. A career is not only highs but highs and lows. The important thing is not to lose passion or love for the game in this tough business."


No comments:

Post a Comment