Turkish Football News

Foreign players dominate Turkish Super Lig

Foreign players dominate Turkish Super Lig

Turkish football continues to attract and rely on foreign talent as more and more players are making each club’s starting line up.

Turkish football’s increasing reliance on foreign players manifested itself once again in the Super Lig this season. A total of 211 foreign players participated in competitive fixtures in the first 12 weeks of the season compared to only 190 Turkish players. For context, 43 of these 190 players launched their careers at foreign clubs.

The foreign players have had 59 percent playing time while Turkish players counted for 41 percent. Their total playing time amounted to 125,730 minutes.

Fenerbahce have the most foreigners in their lineup, fielding 16 foreigners so far this season. They are followed by Besiktas, Goztepe and Ankaragucu with 14 foreign players each. Caykur Rizespor are close behind with 10 foreigners.

Bursaspor, on the other hand, have reduced their dependence on foreigners, relying on 15 Turkish players this season. The club gave just 4,595 minutes total of playing time to foreigners in this season’s matches.

Kasimpasa was the team with the longest playing time for foreign footballers with 8,007 minutes this season. In contrast they’ve given their local players 3,873 minutes of playing time.

Istanbul Basaksehir, the current league leaders, Kasimpasa and Konyaspor allowed only 9 Turkish players in their lineups.

Approximately 43 Turkish players were members of the Turkish diaspora abroad. Most kicked off their careers at German, Dutch, Austrian, Swiss, French and Belgian clubs.

Naturally, foreigners also dominated the list of top scorers. Out of 273 goals in Super Lig games this season, 192, including own goals, were scored by foreigners. All goals by Fenerbahce, 11 in total, were the work of their foreign recruits.

Similarly, Kasimpasa owes its success in the league to foreign players who have scored 23 of their 26 goals.

Senegalese international Mbaye Diagne of Istanbul-based Kasimpasa remains the league’s top scorer with 12 goals and two assists in 12 matches. Kasimpasa, trailing behind Galatasaray in the league, are the highest scoring team so far this season with 26 goals.

Their 27-year-old striker, Diagne, who joined the club last season, made the starting eleven in 15 out of 17 matches.

Only Goztepe and Erzurumspor saw local players scoring more than foreigners.

In a landmark change to Turkish football, the Turkish Football Federation raised the limit of foreign players to 14 in 2015. The change was both criticized and lauded for reducing chances for local players to find playing time and for giving a competitive edge to Turkey in international tournaments.

source: dailysabah

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