Arda Güler swapped Fenerbahçe for Real Madrid for a €20m fee in the late hours of last summer’s transfer window last year. His move to the Spanish capital was controversial, as he had earlier agreed terms with their fierce rivals, FC Barcelona before surprisingly shutting his eyes to the negotiation process later on.
While many believed his move to Madrid was influenced by many factors. This included a direct negotiation and contract agreement, a higher bid to his previous club, Fenerbahçe, and overall, his improved chances of a silverware in a club with a long history of consistency. Multiple reports indicate that his move to Madrid was based on his intentions to leave Turkey immediately.
Before his shocking decision, Barcelona seemed to have had a comfortable control over the demands of Fenerbahçe. However, since Blaugrana could not guarantee an instant move for him due to a financial decline that has overshadowed them in recent times, he considered other options.
Having just €3.4m left to compete in the transfer market, the Catalan heavyweights backed out and left him at the mercy of Real Madrid, activating his €17.5m release clause with a €20m immediate buyout and up to €10m in add-ons.
The Season So Far
Since making the move, Güler has only appeared in three games for Madrid, playing just 76 minutes and recreating speculations on whether he switched to the right team or if he is on the same level the club expected.
Brought into a pool of elite players, it is obviously fair to say, there are limited chances for a developing talent in an extremely unpredictable season. So far, he has won one trophy with the group, as he was on the bench during Madrid’s Super Copa victory over Barcelona. Yet, with the unending saga of a potential move for bigger players, Güler’s chances are shrinking.
Having to fight off competition from the likes of Jude Bellingham, Federico Valverde, Aurélien Tchouaméni, Eduardo Camavinga, Brahim Díaz and veterans like Toni Kroos and Luka Modrić, one could already imagine how difficult it would be for any player to pull that off.
Injuries Causing More Plights
Güler suffered two long-term injuries in the space of two months after signing for Madrid. A meniscus problem and muscle injury that kept him out for a combined three months, resulting in him missing out on more than 15 games so far this season.
Of course, injuries can hamper the progress of a player, especially young ones like Güler, whose back-to-back injuries sponsored worries into the hearts of concerned supporters and took him out of his manager, Carlo Ancelotti’s options for a long time during a premature moment of the season.
It is widely believed that the fastest time to gain a manager’s trust and confidence is at the beginning of a new season, when the competition has not gotten so rife and glaring. This is evidenced through Kobe Mainoo at Manchester United, Lamine Yamal at Fenerbahçe, and Lewis Miley at Newcastle United.
Sadly, Güler spent those moments in the hospital, nursing one injury or another, clearly ousting him out of the picture was the incessant spectacular display put up by Jude Bellingham and Tchouaméni. A top club like Real Madrid never waits for a player to heal before putting up another banger. It is often time at the injured player’s loss if already, he has not established his place in the team.
What the Future Holds
One thing which is certain is Güler’s quality, and although, he has not been given a lot of minutes this season, his performance against second-tier side, Arandina, was quite entertaining for spectators.
A player who shows a lot of promise, Güler’s time at Madrid might just not be up yet, as he is a young player with a lot of potential.
After the Copa del Rey victory against Arandina, Ancelotti commented on Güler’s quality, and gave a hint of what the future might entail for the Turkish prodigy;
“He played for an hour at a good level. Obviously he is not at the physical level, he showed his quality, he showed it in the first half.”
“I said we have to be patient with him. He has personality, he has character. That’s good. He stands out for the quality he has with his feet, but character is also important to do well at Real Madrid.”