This week we caught up with the man behind Turkish-Football.com, an excellent website devoted to keeping fans all over the world updated about Turkish football. We discussed the progress of Jason Denayer, City’s young Belgian international defender who is currently on loan at Turkish giants Galatasaray after a successful spell at Celtic.
CW: First and foremost, thanks for taking the time to answer these questions! Since he arrived at Galatasaray, how has Denayer performed?
TF: Denayer hit the ground running at Galatasaray breaking into the first-team playing in an unfamiliar role of a right-back, but managed to keep Lions veteran full-back Sabri Sarıoğlu out of the team until sustaining an unfortunate knee injury. The young defender missed December and most of January but since recovering has started to return to first-team football. Denayer has two assists in 20 appearances in all competitions and is one of the few players in the side that does not look as if he has given up – Galatasaray are in terrible form, down in fifth place.
CW: What quality about him has surprised you the most? Also, what aspect of his game needs the most improvement?
TF: The Belgium international is a strong, physical player as you would expect from a defender. What did come as a surprise is his technical ability. Denayer arrived as a centre-back but former head coach Hamza Hamzaoğlu decided to experiment with him at full-back and he thrived. He was more than capable of bombing forward and taking on opposition defenders. Turkish supporters tend to love technical players with dribbling ability so Denayer’s well executed one-two passing triangles and individual skills went down a treat with the home faithful and he soon became a fan favourite. There are however, still aspects to his game he needs to work on such as his positioning and decision making, but that should improve with experience.
CW: It seems that Denayer had been used in a variety of positions since he joined Galatasaray. Having obviously watched him more than most City fans, where do you think his future lies?
TF: Due to his lack of experience he has been caught out of position a few times at centre-back and could do with working on reading opposition sides’ attacking moves better. He has played his best football at right-back this season and is pretty well suited to the position with his speed and technical ability.
CW: If possible, would you like to see him on loan at Gala for another year?
TF: I am sure most Galatasaray fans would love to have him for another season, but it does not seem likely as the Lions have been banned from UEFA competitions for one season due to breaching FFP rules. Saying that, he has had no trouble settling into life in Turkey, and in fact he has already developed a taste for one of the most popular drinks in the country; tea or çay (chai) as the locals call it.
CW: Finally, has Jason had a standout performance since he’s joined Galatasaray on loan?
TF: Denayer has consistently performed at a pretty high level he has not had many man of the match performances. He did provide assists in Galatasaray’s 2-1 victory over Gaziantepspor and the 4-0 win over Eskisehirspor, though. His performances in both games best highlighted the attacking side of his game.
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. Hopefully we can send some more promising talents to Turkey in future so you can enlighten us further!