Tuncay Sanli Finds a Way Out of Stoke City, Joins German Side VfL Wolfsburg
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Turkish international Tuncay Sanli left the Premier League to join Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg for €5.2 millon on 31 January, just hours before the transfer deadline. The move brought an end to the soap opera between he and Stoke City manager Tony Pulis.
Sanli was one of Turkey's biggest talents to come through since their golden era of the early 90's. Earning nicknames such as the "Turkish Shevchenko", Sanli left Fenerbahçe after the 2006-07 season, opting for a move abroad.
With his sights set on playing for the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool, Sanli decided to prove himself at a smaller club, joining up with Middlesbrough.
Although he shone with his skill and work rate, earning plaudits from the likes of English international Matt Le Tissier, Sanli couldn't stop his club from being relegated at the close of the 2008-09 season.
Stoke City came knocking for Sanli's signature, signing him to a four-year deal in August 2009. However, the move wasn't fruitful for Sanli; he spent almost the entirety of his one-and-a-half years with the club riding the pine.
The rift between manager Tony Pulis and Sanli came to the forefront at the beginning of the 2010-11 season, with the Turkish international disgruntled at his lack of playing time. Pulis stood firm in his stance, leaving Sanli with no choice but to leave the club.
That's where Wolfsburg steps in.
Crippled after losing the likes of Edin Dzeko and Zvjezdan Misimovic, Wolfsburg have found themselves languishing in 12th place, 23 points behind first.
The addition of Sanli will be a spark for the team, possibly re-igniting the form of players such as Grafite and Diego. Sanli's energy and speed allow him to play literally anywhere; in fact, he played goalkeeper for a few minutes during EURO 2008 after Volkan Demirel was sent off.
A Tuncay Sanli on his day can take over a match. Wolfsburg boss Steve McClaren will certainly hope he gets the best out of his new transfer when they take on Hannover 96 on 5 February.
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