Liverpool could swoop for Galatasaray’s prolific striker

27-year-old Turkish international striker, Burak Yilmaz, has been linked with a move to Liverpool.  The Galatasaray front man is being tracked by Brendan Rodgers.

With the Luis Suarez saga dragging on, Rodgers might publicly be insisting the Uruguayans future lies at Anfield, in reality, he is most probably looking at possible replacements.  And Yilmaz could fit the profile.

The 6ft 2in striker was impressive as part of Galatasaray’s European adventure last season in the Champion’s league and Rodgers won’t be the players sole suitor this summer and for that reason he may have to move quickly if he wants to secure a deal.

Unal Aysal, Galatasaray’s president, hasn’t ruled out the club letting the player go, saying:  “”We have set a price for Burak Yilmaz. We will only consider an offer which is in the best interests of the club and player.  If Burak wants to leave and our transfer demands are matched, we could accept a deal.”

Yilmaz progressed from the youth system at his hometown club Antalyaspor, joining the senior set up in 2002.  In 73 appearances for the club he scored 18 goals, impressive for a player who started as a midfielder before performing primarily as a striker.  His performances significantly contributed to Antalyaspor’s promotion to the Turkish Super Lig in 2006.

His performances didn’t go unnoticed and he secured a move to Istanbul side Besiktas. Yilmaz scored 5 goals in 30 appearances in the league in his first season, assisting his new club to a second placed league position.

The following season though wasn’t a productive one for the 6ft 2in player and in January 2008 he was sold to Manisa based side Manisaspor as part of an exchange deal.  Yilmaz bounced back to form immediately as the move appeared to reinvigorate the player who went on to score an impressive 9 goals in just 16 league appearances.

With that another move was on the cards and in time for the start of the 2008-09 season he moved back to Istanbul to join Fenerbahce.  However another dip in form saw him fail to find the net for his new employers and after a disappointing season he joined Eskisehirspor on a one-year loan deal.

After 17 appearances and 2 goals for the Eskisehir based side, the Turkish international was bought from Fenerbahce by Trabzonspor.  Under Senol Gunes, a Turkish legendary goalkeeper, Yilmaz flourished and in his two and a half years at the club he scored an impressive 58 goals in 93 appearances.  This led to a €5million transfer to Galatasaray last summer and he impressed significantly both in Europe and domestically, scoring 32 goals in 39 appearances.

In such a rich vein of form, Yilmaz will surely be in high demand with the club willing to cash in on the player.  Liverppol will need to act swiftly though to ensure his signature.

Brian S

Brian is a sports journalist with over 5 years experience of writing on all things soccer. Resides in Dublin, Ireland.

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