The Turkish Super Lig is a strangely paradoxical footballing microclimate, with mental clubs, passionate fans and increasing investment it seems to be growing year upon year.
Yet the league still embodies a halfway house of sorts, full of players still of Champions League pedigree alongside ageing stars of seasons past who aren’t quite ready to cross the Atlantic and sign up for semi-retirement as a circus attraction for the Florida Free-kickers.
It’s a parallel universe where Emmanuel Adebayor is somehow still relevant, Samir Nasri has been banned for doping, Samuel Eto’o is fighting a relegation battle and Baftiembi Gomis is top scorer.
Even Asamoah Gyan, who was cleared of murdering his rapper friend in a ritual sacrifice (genuinely) is here.
It is an obvious next step for out of favour Premier League stars, but who could make the move to Europe’s oddest league this summer…
10. Claudio Bravo
Hard to believe he once played for Barcelona and wasn’t just invented purely to get rid of Joe Hart.
Surely, he wants to play Champions League football. Surely someone is crazy enough to let him. Catch him soon, at an Istanbul side near you.
9. Tiémoué Bakayoko
I’m gonna stick my neck out here and say it’s inevitable. A year-long loan to Turkey would surely represent the footballing equivalent of the ‘naughty step’.
After spending the 2017/18 season doing his best Moussa Sissoko at Spurs’ impression, it’s more than he deserves.
8. Salomon Rondon
Rondon works so hard that surely there’s a place in the world where a true one goal in six striker will be really appreciated.
Fenerbahce currently have a forward line of Vincent Janssen and Roberto Soldado. They’ll love him there.
7. Kevin Wimmer
In a league where Martin Skrtel rides high there’s plenty of room for central European centre halves of dubious ability.
Wimmer will forever live in my memory as a key figure within the crumbling Mark Hughes ‘Stokealona’ social experiment where in his final days, Hughes wildly threw money at signings plucked out a random number generator whilst everything fell apart around him.
Stoke will be lucky to get back a quarter of the £18m they paid for the Austrian.
6. Elaquim Mangala
Mangala’s loan move to Everton must have gone down as one of the least eventful loan signings ever, a transaction virtually unnoticed.
Things have gone south quickly for a man that once upon a time cost upwards of £30m.
I foresee a summer of him constantly linked to West Ham, Leicester and Crystal Palace before being offloaded to Galatasaray on deadline day.
5. Kevin Mirallas
He’s moved on loan to Greece so geographically he’s pretty much on his way.
I can picture it now, released by Istanbul Başakşehir for not turning up to training for eight months. Cypriot second division within five years. A crying shame because he’s a lovely player on his day.
4. Javier Hernandez
A good goals to games ratio but even that is on the wane.
We’ve established when getting served by Arthur Masuaku and Andre Ayew he isn’t quite as effective as when it was with Cristiano Ronaldo or Paul Scholes slotting him in.
Hopefully he goes to Besiktas and strikes up a lovely Premier League cult heroes partnership with Ryan Babel before inevitably crossing the Atlantic to demolish Bradley Wright Phillips’ MLS goalscoring record.
3. Ibrahim Afellay
Ibrahim Afellay walks into Antalyaspor’s training ground for the first day at his new club. “Welcome home” says the lovely old lady on reception. He has never even been to Turkey before, but somehow, he has finally arrived home.
2. Xherdan Shaqiri
It pains me to say it given he currently plays for Stoke City. But not only is he wider than he is tall, Shaqiri is probably a Champions League level player.
Galatasaray £12m I’m saying, Turkish Player of the Season 2018/19. You heard it here first.
1. Divock Origi
Stop trying to make Divock Origi a thing guys. It just isn’t going to happen. He’s had his chance, he’s been on Liverpool’s books for four seasons now and has proved himself nothing more than as a Belgian Danny Welbeck, destined for a life of being shunted out to the wing for Bursaspor, scoring 10 in 33 and inevitably moving to West Ham for £25m just in time for the 2020/21 season.