West Brom Opinion: Why the Baggies should make a move for Tolgay Arslan?
According to Turkish outlet Hurriyet, newly-appointed West Brom manager Slaven Bilic wants to make Fenerbahce midfielder Tolgay Arslan his first summer signing at the Hawthorns.
Tolgay Arslan, 28, joined Fenerbahce during the winter transfer window after falling out with the Besiktas board last season. However, he quickly lost his place in the team after some poor performances.
Fenerbahce are under pressure to sell a number of their key players for financial reasons and the Turkish midfielder certainly could be one of them, despite arriving at the club only five months ago.
Slaven Bilic is keen to take advantage of the situation and reunite with Arslan at the Hawthorns—the midfielder who played under him when the Croatian manager was at the helm of Besiktas.
Bilic was named as West Brom’s new manager on Thursday and he will be tasked with guiding the club back to the Premier League after they lost to local rivals Aston Villa in the Championship play-off semi-final last month. He will have to build his team with the players that fit his style of play and must prioritise signing a couple of midfielders, with the likes of Gareth Barry and James Morrison released.
Rekeem Harper, who is out of contract at the end of this month, has been offered a new deal but is yet to put pen to paper. Therefore, signing someone like Tolgay Arslan would make sense for the Baggies.
Arslan previously worked under Bilic during their time at Besiktas, with the 28-year-old ending his four-year association with Besiktas earlier this year by joining Fenerbahce. The midfielder has plenty of experience in Turkey and Germany and has featured in both the Champions League and the Europa League in recent years.
The Turkey international is a midfield enforcer, who breaks the opposition’s play with his interception and tackling skills. He is a good distributor of the ball and likes to keep things simple in midfield, as his presence allows the team’s creative players to operate with more freedom.
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Bilic has worked with Arslan previously, so will know his strengths and weaknesses. Arslan has plenty of experience at the highest level and has got something about him which is why the West Brom manager wants him at the Hawthorns.
Persuading the Turkish midfielder down to the Championship may be a big task, however, if Bilic can get him, Arslan could be a real coup for the Baggies.