Turks Abroad: Zeki Celik Shines For Lille, Okay Yokuslu Impresses In Spain, Mesut Ozil Returns For Arsenal


Mehmet Zeki Celik – Lille

Zeki Celik has been the revelation of the season as far as Turkish players abroad are concerned. The 21-year-old right-back went from the second-tier of Turkish football to becoming a first-choice star for Lille. The young full-back provided another assist over the weekend in the 3-2 away victory over Nimes – his fourth of the season. The Turkey international made the highest number of tackles for his side (3), seven clearances, provided an attacking threat and setup a goal. Not a bad days work! The victory saw Lille move back into second place in Ligue 1.

Okay Yokuslu – Celta Vigo 

As followers of Turkish-Football know I am a big fan of Okay. He is one of those underrated players who rarely gets the recognition he deserves. The Turkey international has been in great form since Miguel Cardoso was appointed manager last month. The 24-year-old dominated the midfield in the goalless draw against Leganes. He had a staggering 144 touches on the ball, made 139 passes at a 94 percent accuracy. 18 of his 19 attempted long balls were accurate. He was dominant in the air winning five aerial duels and worked hard defensively while helping to keep possession.

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Ilkay Gundogan – Manchester City

A typical Gundogan display in the 3-1 win over Everton. He kept possession well, worked hard, created three goal scoring opportunities. It is easy to see why Pep Guardiola has so much faith in the classy midfielder.

Caglar Soyuncu – Leicester City

Soyuncu had a rather interesting week. After being ditched over the weekend for the ever so unreliable Wes Morgan in the 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace he found himself start against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup. For a defender who has found himself in and out the squad he did cope remarkably well up against the likes of Sergio Aguero. City scored just once in regulation time and there was little anyone could have done about Kevin De Bruyne’s goal. Soyuncu did end up missing his penalty in the shoot out and did look a little rusty at times but that could be down to the fact he has not really been given time to settle into the team. Still, promising signs for the young defender.

Mesut Ozil – Arsenal

Poor Mesut Ozil. After returning from a back-injury mid week and providing the game winning assist in the 1-0 win over Qarabag on Thursday he was benched against Southampton. Unai Emery brought him on in the 70th minute with the scores tied at 2-2. Ozil was blamed for the Saints third goal after his dummy went wrong. But shouldn’t it be the defence being criticized?