Turkish Super Lig? Completed it mate – Oxlade-Chamberlain has turned into prime Ronaldo already
Even with the Saudi Pro League splashing the cash like never before, football’s one constant can never be disturbed; washed-up Premier League footballers heading to the Turkish Super Lig and thriving.
The Turkish top flight has long been the number one destination for former Premier League footballers in the autumn of their career, looking for a new challenge or surplus to requirements at their club and needing a way out without compromising too much on their handsome wages.
It’s always been the butt of the joke as a result, but you can’t hate it too much, really.
Heading to a country with infinitely better weather to live in a ridiculous villa, playing football at a much more comfortable level and – if you’re good enough for one of the bigger sides – in front of some of the most passionate fans in the world. Pretty good gig, that.
Sure, becoming a pro and then dreaming of the fairytale journey to the very top of the game while winning all the major honours along the way might sound nice in your head, but us? No chance. Horrid career arc.
Hotshot at a big side followed by a journeyman era or a spell in Turkey where you achieve cult hero status away from the pressures of the very top end of the game.
In the nicest way possible, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has now found himself on this arc and we could not be more jealous of him. Seriously.
The 30-year-old ended his six-year association with Liverpool in the summer upon the expiry of his contract, his tenure in Merseyside remembered by persistent injury struggles between occasional glimpses of what made him such a promising acquisition back in 2017.
But you’re not here to read all about that boring stuff. Obviously. We know what happened, we know what he won, we know how it ended.
What’s immediately more interesting is how the Ox immediately headed to Istanbul, not for a hair transplant but to sign for Besiktas and fulfil the prophecy he felt destined for the minute those injuries began to stack up.
If there was ever a textbook Turkish Super Lig signing, it’s undoubtedly a 30-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain on a free transfer. That probably also explains why he’s got off to the perfect start, scoring a scorcher of a first goal which also happened to be the winner against Kayserispor.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is off the mark for Besiktas, and what a tidy goal it is.
The most Turkish Super Lig transfer imaginable is off to the perfect start.pic.twitter.com/HRJlyjYqdZ
— Planet Football (@planetfutebol) September 25, 2023
In front of a packed-out home crowd, too. Way to get off the mark, that.
Playing through the middle, the 30-year-old finds himself between defenders and meets a brilliant through pass, before killing it with a deft touch and a finish that Jurgen Klopp spent all last season desperate for Darwin Nunez to pull off. Sorry, Darwizzy – we love you really.
They’ll all be chanting about ‘the Ox’ in no time if the English midfielder continues to get on the end of through balls like that. For as good as he was in the Premier League, Oxlade-Chamberlain very rarely looked so athletic and killer in front of goal.
Not least without looking like he was at risk of injuring every muscle in his legs, at least.
Must just be the vitamin D from that sweet Turkish sun. Revitalises a player. The Super Lig vibes are like no other, and Alex will now back that up after the start he’s made over there.
We look forward to seeing how he kicks on from here now that he’s off the mark and ready to fulfil his prophecy as Mr. Super Lig.
By Mitch Wilks