On Tuesday, Wesley Sneijder officially completed his move to Turkish side Galatasaray from Inter Milan, a team he joined in 2009.
But now, the big question remains—can Sneijder rekindle his elite form of old at Galatasaray? Or are his best days behind him?
Truthfully, they shouldn't be. Sneijder is only 28 years old, and it wasn't so long ago that he led Inter Milan to the rare treble (Serie A title, Champions League and Italian Cup) in 2010 and helped Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final.
And while he had a falling out with Inter this season—he hasn't played a match since September—he did tally five goals and six assists in 29 total appearances last season.
Sneijder is no longer in his prime, that much is clear, but he's still a classy player and should star for Galatasaray against weaker competition than he is accustomed to facing. Remember, this is a man who has made his money in La Liga, Serie A and on the international stage—let's not forget his ability.
For one, he's still a threat to score from range and a masterful taker of free kicks. He doesn't have blazing pace, but he's quick on the ball and hard to bully off of it. He's still a clever passer, and should quickly become the talisman of Galatasaray's attack.
If he's given the space to create and the go-ahead to bomb from range, he should be a major addition for the side.
The fit should be a good one. As Sneijder told Marca.com, both Real Madrid manager José Mourinho and Dutch national team coach Louis Van Gaal recommended the move:
"I spoke to Mourinho. He is an important person in my life. I told him about the idea because his advice is important to me. I wasn't one hundred percent sure and he gave the idea his backing and support; as did Van Gaal. They both have been key figures in my career" commented Sneijder.
If those two brilliant minds of the game think it's a good fit, who are we to argue?
It's often the case that a player simply needs a change of scenery to be re-energized and find the form of old. Other times, taking a small step down from a top league to a second-tier one is just what the doctor ordered.
It seems Sneijder was wise enough to do both. I expect big things from him at Galatasaray.
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