Ismail Köybaşi 22 Defender Beşiktaş
Another on the ever-growing list of attacking defenders in world football, Köybaşi is also one of several converted midfielders now more at home at wing-back. Since arriving at Beşiktaş in 2009 for big money after a wonderful first professional season with Gaziantepspor, he has settled into a first team role and is now finding the consistency that has seen him linked to - amongst others - Seville, who retain a long-term interest.
Now also a full international, Köybaşi is a player clearly benefiting from first team and European experience at a young age. Turkish football is going through a turbulent time and the international side’s third place at the 2002 World Cup seems an awfully long time ago. However Köybasi is one of the next generation and should enjoy a long future on the left flank of Turkey’s national side.
While he may not be exceptional in the sense of rivalling the very best, that in no way means Köybaşi doesn’t have a bright future ahead. There have been noted improvements in his crossing and passing ability of late and his assist record continues to climb. If Köybaşi continues to improve his next move will be interesting. Does he opt for familiarity and remain or Beşiktaş or gamble on a move to a bigger league and a new challenge? Either way if he continues along the path he’s currently treading he will become a solid and consistent player for many seasons to come. He may not make any further ‘top 100’ lists in the future, but the Turkish defender will become a decent international footballer and that shouldn’t be underestimated.
"Köybaşi's link play with Arda Turan is the future of our national team" @_GOLhan
C Steady progress and that’s no bad thing