Wilfried Zaha’s move to Galatasaray couldn’t be any more Turkish Super Lig if it tried. We might’ve reached the peak of the Super Lig meme, if we’re honest.
That’s being a little harsh on the winger who, at 30, probably still could’ve been a force in the Premier League for Crystal Palace.
His best years are behind him, though, and given that he had offers from around Europe, it was incredibly fitting of him to land in the Turkish top-flight; home of the ballers the streets couldn’t possibly forget.
Zaha’s move to Gala isn’t the only big move to Turkey this summer, though, with the league looking stacked for next season.
We’ve pulled together an XI of streets won’t forget stars who will be ripping it up in the Super Lig in 2023-24.
GK: Fernando Muslera
An honourary Turk at this point, Muslera was linked with a move to a top European side every summer for years, but would always remain at Galatasaray, occasionally standing out in the Champions League or on the international stage with Uruguay.
He helped Gala to the league title last season and is entering his 12th season with the club. Turkish Super Lig Hall of Famer.
Happy birthday, Fernando Muslera! 🥳
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 16, 2021
RB: Filip Benkovic
The defender signed for Leicester in 2018 before immediately heading out on loan to Celtic for the season. Upon returning, he was unable to force his way into the XI and was deemed loan fodder as the Foxes continued to decline, with stints at Bristol City, Cardiff and OH Leuven.
He left England in 2022 and signed for Udinese, but will spend the 2023-24 campaign keeping guard at the back for Trabzonspor. He’s only 26. The Journeyman career is shaping up very nicely.
CB: Daniel Amartey
Yet more Leicester alumni, Amartey’s time at the King Power Stadium was infinitely more successful, although truth be told he was long past his sell-by date upon leaving this summer.
The 28-year-old signed a deal with Besiktas upon leaving Leicester as a free agent following their relegation, and will probably look like Franz Beckenbauer in compilations that make it to Twitter in approximately six months.
CB: Arthur Masuaku
Known best for his seven-year stint with West Ham, it’s absolutely no surprise to learn that Masuaku has found himself at Besiktas. The ultimate Super Lig player.
We’ve slotted him in at an unorthodox CB position here, but let us off. It’s not like you watch the league anyway. Be honest with yourselves.
Having had enough of being thrown around Manchester City feeder clubs, Angelino moved to RB Leipzig in a bid to find his feet in the football world.
That didn’t work out, though, and he’s now set to spend the 2023-24 season on loan with champions Gala, as they put together a super team of streets won’t forget stars.
RM: Yannick Bolasie
The most devastating pair of wingers in 2010s Premier League folklore are now both plying their trade in the Turkish Super Lig, which truly says it all about how fantastic the division is. Also doesn’t help them break those stereotypes, but we don’t mind.
Bolasie was actually dropping shoulders and putting together compilation-worthy performances in the second tier with Rizespor last season, but helped the club to earn promotion to the top flight ahead of the 2023-24 campaign. Whether or not he remains there is another question, though.
We want him to reunite with Zaha at Gala. Immediately.
CM: Gedson Fernandes
Remember him? Probably not. Still convinced he doesn’t exist and was merely a figment of our imaginations during COVID-19.
Randomly surfaced and was linked heavily to Manchester United and West Ham, signed for Spurs on an 18-month loan in January 2020 and was at Galatasaray a year later. Says it all.
Gedson Fernandes – if he’s even a real person – will play for Besiktas this season.
CM: Nicolo Zaniolo
More of a forward than a midfielder, but let us off. He’s playing next to someone who might not even exist, so realism is out of the window.
Zaniolo’s move to Turkey is still fresh in the minds of every football fan. Injuries have seriously hampered the 24-year-old, but there’s a feeling he can use his time at Galatasaray as a means of catapulting himself back into a top-five league.
LM: Wilfried Zaha
The new boy, it’s a travesty that no Turkish side has truly gotten the band back together and signed Zaha alongside Bolasie in a package deal, purely for the vibes.
Jokes aside, Zaha in that Gala shirt might be the one. Stepovers and body feints galore in the Turkish sunset? Yeah, he’s onto something. We’re hooked.
Wilfried Zaha doing an immaculate Zinedine Zidane impression is exactly what we wanted to see on a Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/Q0UDgc8rU2
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) July 26, 2021
ST: Mauro Icardi
Following a successful loan spell at Gala, Icardi has made his move to Istanbul a permanent one.
The Argentine will be linking up with Zaha next season. We’re not sure what timeline we live in anymore.
ST: Edin Dzeko
Dzeko has finally made his inevitable move to the promised land of Turkey, fulfilling his prophecy as a former Premier League footballer.
To be fair to him, he made sure to establish himself as one of the finest strikers in Europe before doing so, seamlessly replacing Romelu Lukaku at Inter and keeping him out of the team when he returned, despite heading towards his late thirties.