Why Galatasaray Is the Right Move for Wesley Sneijder
Wesley Sneijder's time in exile is finally over.
Having not played for Internazionale since September after refusing to take a €2 million pay cut on a contract that ran until June 2015, the Dutchman was placed in limbo, waiting for a club to step in and rescue him.
The knight in shining armour has been formally announced as reigning Turkish Super Lig champions Galatasaray, who have completed an £8.3 million deal that will, according to the Daily Mail, remunerate the 28-year-old to the tune of £120,000 per week.
Some folks, however, have been critical of the transfer. It has been perceived that Sneijder has ended up playing outside of Europe's five major leagues because of his own exorbitant wage demands.
After refusing to bring his salary to within financially viable levels in Italy, the Dutch midfielder was understood to be keen on a move to the Premier League (according to The Guardian). His wage demands, however, were the stumbling block.
Arsenal and Chelsea had no interest in breaking their pay structures for the 28-year-old, said The Independent.
Liverpool were also keen—Steven Gerard was very excited by the prospect of seeing Sneijder in red—but he would have needed to take a dramatic pay cut to become a part of Brendan Rogers squad.
Of course, taking a pay cut to join a new side is redundant when your reason for leaving your current club is a lack of desire to take a pay cut. Therefore, with no other suitors, Sneijder was forced to take the Galatasaray offer that was tabled and accepted by Inter two weeks ago.
Thanks to his own financial expectations, he had little choice but to take the money and run to Istanbul.
But to call Sneijder a mercenary is a little strong. It is not his fault that Inter Milan were backtracking on the terms of a contract they were happy to sign in 2009. Why should he be held hostage by the Italians' financial mismanagement? Why should the Champions League winning Dutchman have to settle for a much smaller salary elsewhere?
Galatasaray is not only the right move for Sneijder financially, but it is an environment in which he can thrive.
The Cimbom are currently leading the Turkish Super Lig and look like strong contenders for their 19th league title.
Fatih Terim's side are also preparing for a Champions League Round of 16 bout with Schalke, having broken out of the group stage for the first time since 2001.
If Sneijder had joined Liverpool or stayed at Inter, he would not have a title challenge or European Cup campaign to look forward to. His chances of earning trophies or reaching the Final Eight of the Champions League this season would be diminished if he had joined Arsenal, who face the irrepressible Bayern Munich next.
Clearly, his prospects of earning silverware and playing on the big European stage are stronger with Galatasaray.
Sneijder will also be in good company in terms of imported talent at the Avrupa Fatihi, as Turkey is attracting more and more top European players to its shores.
Sneijder will be joining a midfield that currently includes Felipe Melo and Albert Riera. In defence, he will find Emmanuel Eboue and Czech captain Tomas Ujfalusi. Former Bolton striker Johan Elmander and Milan Baros can be found upfront, although the latter has yet to start a game this season.
Much like David Beckham in the MLS, Sneijder now has an opportunity to cast a spotlight on an extremely popular domestic league that does not get a lot of attention on a global scale.
He can become a bright shining star in the Turkish Super Lig, rather than just another twinkle in the galaxy of Serie A, the Premier League or La Liga.
At this stage of his prestigious career, Sneijder is surely better off becoming the leader and hero at a smaller club, rather than fading into the background at a European powerhouse.
Galatsaray is the right move for Wesley Sneijder, and I look forward to seeing his impact with The Lions.
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