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Former Premier League players currently playing in Turkey

A vast number of former Premier League players have made the switch to the Turkish Super Lig in recent years and we've taken a look at some of the individuals currently plying their trade in Turkey's top flight.

Wilfried Zaha

Club: Galatasaray

Date joined: July 2023

So long Crystal Palace’s hero and talisman, Wilfried Zaha ended his 18-year association by moving to Galatasaray on a free transfer.

Palace offered Zaha a bumper new deal, but the winger opted to take on a new challenge in Turkey, where he would score against former club Manchester United in the Champions League, finishing third in their group to reach the Europa League.

Zaha scored nine goals in his maiden Super Lig campaign, with Galatasaray closing in on the title.

Edin Dzeko

Club: Fenerbahce

Date joined: June 2023

One of his generation’s most accomplished strikers, Edin Dzeko moved to Turkey last summer after 16 seasons spent in Europe’s big five leagues.

Dzeko became the first player to score 50+ league goals in three of Europe’s big five leagues after scoring his 50th Serie A goal with Roma before spending two seasons with Inter where he twice won Coppa Italia and reached the 2022/23 Champions League final.

Dzeko joined Fenerbahce last summer, scoring 20 goals so far in his debut season to be the second highest goalscorer in the Super Lig.

Nicolas Pepe

Club: Trabzonspor

Date joined: September 2023

Arsenal’s record signing, Nicolas Pepe spent three rather forgettable years in North London before spending the year on loan with Nice before having his contract terminated a year early, facilitating a move to Turkey.

Pepe moved on a free transfer to Trabzonspor, but following a call-up to AFCON combined with some injury trouble, the Ivorian has been limited to 12 appearances and four goals in his first season.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Club: Besiktas

Date joined: August 2023

After an injury-hit five-and-a-half years with Liverpool, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to Besikas on a free transfer last summer.

Unfortunately, however, the former Arsenal man’s injury woes have persisted, with Oxlade-Chamberlain suffering a thigh injury that sidelined him for three months, limiting him to 18 league appearances so far.

Mario Balotelli

Club: Adana Demirspor

Date joined: September 2023

Undoubtedly one of the most talented forwards of his generations, much of Mario Balotelli’s potential was wasted across spells with Inter, Manchester City, Milan and Liverpool.

After scored 33 goals in his first two Ligue 1 seasons with Nice, Balotelli moved to Marseille, then Brescia, then Monza before a transfer to Turkey with Adana Demirspor.

Balotelli scored 18 goals in his debut season before signing with Sion the following campaign, but after his contract was terminated with the Swiss club, Balotelli returned to Adana Demirspor.

Jonjo Shelvey

Club: Caykur Rizespor

Date joined: September 2023

After falling out of favour at Newcastle, Jonjo Shelvey moved to Nottingham in January 2023, but having failed to make an impact and reportedly falling out with manager Steve Cooper, moved to Caykur Rizespor on a free transfer, where he’s made 29 appearances so far, scoring two goals.

Michy Batshuayi

Club: Fenerbahce

Date joined: September 2022

A promising forward, Michy Batshuayi’s 21-goal season with Standard Liege earned him a move to Marseille, where he’d score 17 goals in his second term, subsequently earning a big-money move to Chelsea for more than £30m.

A series of unsuccessful loan moves to Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace followed before a solid season with Besiktas, scoring 14 goals.

The spell in Turkey brought about a permanent exit from Stamford Bridge, with Fenerbahche signing the Belgian.

After 12 goals in 19 games in his first season, winning the Turkish Cup, Batshuayi has scored 11 goals in 24 games this time around, with Fenerbahce set to fall short in the title race.

Federico Macheda

Club: Ankaragucu

Date joined: July 2022

Unforgettably scoring a last-minute winner for Manchester United on his debut, Federico Macheda’s career has never quite reached that level. The Italian spent time on loan with Sampdoria, QPR, Stuttgart, Doncaster and Birmingham before moving permanently to Cardiff.

After three years in the Welsh capital, which included a brief loan stint with Nottingham Forest, Macheda returned to Italy with Serie B side Novara. Two years later, Macheda moved to Panathanaikos in what was his most successful spell to date, scoring 24 goals in his first two seasons, going on to win the Greek Cup.

Macheda then moved to Turkey with Ankaragucu, but was loaned to Cypriot side APOEL in his first season, playing a fringe role upon his return.

Davinson Sanchez

Club: Galatasaray

Date joined: July 2022

Tottenham broke their transfer record to sign Davinson Sanchez from Ajax for around £42m, but after a mixed – but ultimately underwhelming – six years in North London, the Colombian moved to Turkey, joining Galatasaray from around £8m.

Although he’s closing in on a first league title, Sanchez has been limited to 20 appearances owing to injury issues.

Hakim Ziyech

Club: Galatasaray

Date joined: July 2022

A part of Ajax’s lauded 2019 class that were seconds away from reaching a Champions League final, big things were expected of Hakim Ziyech when he moved to Chelsea two summers later.

Playing under Frank Lampard, Thomas Tuchel, Graham Potter and then Lampard again, Ziyech never quite found a place for himself in West London, and was loaned out to Galatasaray for the 2023/24 season.

Despite an injury-hit season that was also interrupted by the Africa Cup of Nations, Ziyech has six goals and three assists from 11 starts this season.


Club: Fenerbahce

Date joined: August 2023

After more than 200 appearances for Manchester United, Fred moved to Turkey, signing a four-year deal with Fenerbahce.

Struggling with a couple of injuries throughout the campaign has limited the Brazilian’s availability, but when fit, Fred has played a key part in Fenerbahce’s midfield this season.

Lucas Torreira

Club: Galatasaray

Date joined: August 2022

Lucas Torreira was signed for around £26m in order to add steel to the Arsenal midfield, but failed to make a significant impact at the Emirates Stadium, being loaned out following the arrival of Mikel Arteta to Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina, before securing a permanent move away.

Torreira joined Galatasaray for around £5m, where he’s made 74 appearances in all competitions in his two seasons there, and looks set to add to his Super Lig winners’ medal from last season.

Tanguy Ndombele

Club: Galatasaray

Date joined: September 2023

A supremely talented midfielder with boundless potential, Tanguy Ndombele was signed by Tottenham for a club-record fee of around £55m in 2019.

The dismissal of Mauricio Pochettino saw Ndombele begin a chequered relationship with new manager Jose Mourinho. Ndombele quickly fell into Mourinho’s bad books, leading to a personal training session in a public park with the Portuguese, but improved from in his second season prompted an extended spell in the Spurs first team.

The arrivals of Nuno Espirito Santo and Antonio Conte saw Ndombele back out of favour, leading to loan spells with Lyon and Napoli.

Galatasaray is the third loan spell for the Frenchman in as many season with an option to buy for €15m, but having started just four games, it’s an option that’s looking unlikely to be taken up.

Joe Worrall

Club: Besiktas

Date joined: February 2024

A crucial part of Nottingham Forest’s promotion to the Premier League, Joe Worrall took the armband as the Tricky Trees finished 16th upon their return to the top flight.

Worrall since fell out of favour, however, making five starts in the first half of the season, being loaned out to Besiktas for the second half of the campaign.

Lazar Markovic

Club: Gaziantep

Date joined: July 2022

Perhaps best remembered by English football fans for his brief stint with Liverpool, Lazar Markovic is another ex-Premier League player now plying his trade in Turkey.

Signed for the not-insignificant £20m back in 2014, Markovic never quite settled on Merseyside, lasting just one season before a series of loan spells.

Markovic returned to Partizan permanently in 2019, spending three years back in Serbia before heading to Turkey.

Still only 30, Markovic is currently coming to the end of his second season in Turkey, where he’s embroiled in a relegation battle with Gaziantep.

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