You know the old phrase ‘if you can’t do, teach’?
Well in football it’s slightly different.
Over the last five years or so it appears if you can’t hack the Premier League… move to Turkey.
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Yes the Turkish Super Lig continues to offer a fresh start for maligned players who have had a tough time in English football, with the theme continuing this summer.
More than any other league in the world, Turkey seems to sniff out Premier League unrest and afford a retirement home as a means of escape.
So after Spurs misfit Moussa Sissoko was heavily linked with a move to Fenerbahce, we had a trawl through the vast catalogue of players who are currently playing their trade in Turkey.
Fenerbahce (Islam Slimani, Andre Ayew, Roberto Soldado, Martin Skrtel, Mauricio Isla)
Here we have prime Premier League flop hoarding.
Slimani remains Leicester’s club-record signing at £29m but he failed to live up to the billing at the King Power.
Last season he went on loan to Newcastle and cost the Magpies approximately £25,000 a minute when you take his wages and loan fee into consideration.
Ayew did the hokey cokey between Swansea and West Ham for a few years whilst Soldado could physically only score from the penalty spot at Spurs.
Liverpool fans can now sit back and enjoy the oozing class of Virgil van Dijk after season upon season of rash Skrtel own goals.
And remember Isla, QPR supporters?
NB: Special mention goes to Vincent Janssen, who is now back at Spurs after forging a terrifying strike force with Soldado during a loan spell at Fenerbahce last season.
Besiktas (Loris Karius, Alvaro Negredo, Ricardo Quaresma, Ryan Babel, Gokhan Tore, Jeremain Lens, Gary Medel)
Now that’s a hefty roll call.
Karius was in dire straits at the end of last season after his Champions League final nightmare but Besiktas have offered him sanctuary.
The rest of the motley crew are from further Premier League years gone by – but they’re evidently doing something right after a run to the Champions League knockout rounds last season.
Quaresma and Babel, in particular, are experiencing Indian summers in Turkey and are still part of their respective international setups.
Galatasaray (Fernando, Sofiane Feghouli)
A slightly smaller sample size for the reigning Turkish champions.
Feghouli, like Tore at Besiktas, was a curious Slaven Bilic signing which inevitably backfired when neither showed the temperament to muck in.
And Fernando, to be fair, is just a bruising midfielder who wasn’t quite as good as almost namesake Fernandinho at Man City.
The best of the rest (Antalyaspor – Aly Cisshoko, Sivasspor – Arouna Kone, Istanbul Basaksehir – Gokhan Inler, Trabzonspor – Hugo Rodallega, Goztepe – Yoan Gouffran)
It sends shivers down the spine to think Cisshoko was a Steven Gerrard slip away from a Premier League medal.
Inler, however, has burgled one for his trophy cabinet after playing close to no part in Leicester’s heroic success a few years ago.
Rodallega is prime Wigan nostalgia material but if you haven’t forgotten about Gouffran, the sooner you do the better.
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