Recent financial struggles and UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations have forced Turkish heavyweights to change their flamboyant transfer policies. Considering their poor performances in the first half of the season, the transformation is even more astonishing. If this was just two or three years ago, they would be selling most of their players on their squads and buying "superstars" for absurd amounts. But those days are over, the big guns know that they are now on the defensive; they need to protect their own stars since it is harder than ever to replace them.
For instance, Galatasaray, the quietest one among the big guns, sold Garry Rodrigues, who was one of the key players on offense with his speed and agility, to Saudi club Al-Ittihad. Considering they have been unable to find a decent striker to replace Batefimbi Gomis, who left the club in August, the offensive power of the team has been reduced to a humiliating degree. Still, Galatasaray have not made any transfers that have satisfied fans. Although I always advocate for fewer transfers and more development, in the case of a giant like Galatasaray with lots of expectations, it seems like the club is going to continue to have a lot of problems on the offense.
Beşiktaş, on the other hand, has gradually been losing high-quality players since last season and it has replaced them with players of lower quality. After a year, they finally managed to replace striker Cenk Tosun with Burak Yılmaz, the 34-year-old striker from Trabzonspor.
Although Yılmaz is still good according to Super League standards, he is not in the same league as Cenk Tosun. This reveals a sad reality for Beşiktaş. Added to that, Pepe, the most crucial man on Beşiktaş's defense, sometimes even more crucial than coach Şenol Güneş, has also left the club. Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, a 27-year-old from PSV Eindhoven, will now replace him but the question remains whether he can fill Pepe's shoes. With Adriano and Tolgay Arslan also on the line for departures, Beşiktaş squad will have been pretty much emptied in a year.
Even Fenerbahçe, following its total collapse in the first half of the season, has not made a big move yet. The second most successful team in Super League history is now in the relegation zone, just four points above the last spot - yet, no sensational transfers.
They bought Sadık Çiftpınar, a center back from Yeni Malatyaspor, which can be hardly considered a big move. While the fans are still waiting for transfers that can compensate for the horrible performance in the first half, it seems like those transfers will never arrive.