After sitting out the first half of the season because of Barcelona’s transfer ban, Arda Turan is finally settling in at the Camp Nou. He spoke with Catalan paper Diari Ara recently for a wide-ranging interview, touching upon everything from his Barcelona experience to the current political situation in his native Turkey and across Europe.
Responding to a question about when he knew he was going to sign with Barcelona, Arda unintentionally (I think) belittled Arsenal, a team he was repeatedly linked to before signing with Barca. Translation via Goal:
And Arda claims that only the very best succeed at Camp Nou, with those of a lesser level more likely to end up in north London.
“I felt that I would sign for Barca. In all honesty I used to think, ‘If I play very well I will end up signing for Barca, because my style fits into this team,” he told Diari Ara.
“’If I play well, I will end up at Arsenal’.
I mean, he’s not wrong! Arsenal would’ve loved to have gotten their hands on Arda, just like they signed Mesut Özil and Alexis Sanchez after they put in good shifts at Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, but were ultimately deemed surplus to requirements. But even with those two ostensibly world class talents, Arsenal is the same old Arsenal, getting bounced in the Champions League Round of 16 for the fifth straight season, on track to finish a disappointing third in the Premier League in a year where most of their traditional rivals suck, and facing questions about how long Arsène Wenger will remain in charge.
Arda wanted to go to Barcelona, where he would play with the best attack in soccer, seriously challenge for trophies, and have a chance to prove himself against the world’s best. But if Barcelona hadn’t thought he was good enough, he knew Arsenal was there waiting.