“To earn more for doing less,” Marca’s report on Atlético Madrid’s unsettled Turkish star begins. “It is many people’s dream and among them, apparently, is Arda Turan.” And while the reality of his discontent isn’t quite that tidy, it’s basically accurate.

Along with Gabi, Diego Godín, and Koke, Turan has been one of the core pieces of the ascendent Atlético Madrid team under badass manager Diego Simeone that has won the Europa League, the Copa del Rey, La Liga, and reached the Champions League final. Atléti have rode Cholo’s tenacious pressing and buzz saw counters to the greatest stretch in the club’s history.


The good thing about Simeone’s system is that it works. The bad is that it wears you the fuck out. Understanding this, Turan is looking to move someplace where he won’t be asked to sprint non-stop for 90 minutes twice a week. From Marca:

And he wants to leave among other reasons because he has given everything while wearing the Rojiblanco, but also has paid for the physical wear and tear that marks Cholo’s system. In that sense he would prefer a system that liberates him from defensive duties, or so he says. It should be remembered in that respect that Arda has been unavailable due to injuries that did not appear serious for the final game of last season, the Champions League final, likewise in the present, with the fight for third place against Granada.


This is reasonable and not at all uncommon. A player sticks with a relatively smaller club despite interest from bigger ones, achieves everything he feels he can there, and then takes the pay raise that comes along with the jump to one of the sport’s super clubs. You see it every transfer window, and it makes total sense. Tack on Simeone’s grueling physical style and we can’t blame Turan for wanting to take a breather and a pay bump in England.

Unfortunately for Turan, Chelsea are currently the team most linked with bringing him on. He’d be a perfect fit opposite Eden Hazard in that wide right attacking midfield position, but that would be the one team in Europe that would expect him to work just as hard as he does now at Atlético. But he wouldn’t be asked to start every single match the way he is in Madrid and he’d still get a raise out of the switch to London, and to earn more for doing the same amount of work isn’t so bad a dream to settle for.