The 23-year-old will miss out on football action during the next four months due to his FIFA ban, but will waive his salary as a goodwill gesture to his club.
(Image credit: Sporten)
The Turkish international has decided to give up his rights to wages – including bonuses – from Bayer Leverkusen, as he serves his four-month long FIFA ban. Calhanoglu was involved in a transfer dispute with Super Lig side Trabzonspor, who claimed to have paid €100,000 to his representatives to acquire his services at a future date.
(Wish Calhanoglu a happy birthday today (February 8) in our comment section below, as the young midfielder turns 23 years of age!)
However, a potential transfer to the Turkish Black Sea never materialized as the talented midfielder extended his contract with then club Karlsruher, and his representatives – believed to be led by his agent father – kept the money they received from Trabzonspor.
The Turkish side decided to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which resulted in Calhanoglu receiving the four-month FIFA ban. Additionally, the player who has been touted to become the next Mesut Ozil has been ordered to repay the €100,000 his representatives initially received back in 2011, when he was just 17 years of age.
Calhanoglu has stressed that his transfer dispute with Trabzonspor – which led to the FIFA ban – has ‘nothing to do’ with his current club, so he deems it appropriate to forgo his wages during the next four months, as the BayArena side will be set back in both sporting and economic terms.
“Bayer 04 have nothing to do with the incidents at that time,” Calhanoglu commented. “Yet, by the ban the club was hit hard both from an economic and sporting point of view. That’s why it’s a given that I don’t want to inflict more damage on the club and will pass on my salary for the duration of the ban.”
Besides missing out on all club games until the end of the season (Bundesliga ends on May 20), the FIFA ban imposed on the 23-year-old means he’ll also miss out on international duty with Turkey in the 2018 FIFA qualifiers. His absence will be gravely missed by Fatih Terim, who will be looking to climb up the table in Group I, after collecting only five points from four games in the World Cup qualifiers for Russia.
Bayer Leverkusen currently sit in ninth position on the table with 24 points in Bundesliga, finding themselves a whopping 22 points behind leaders Bayern Munich. And without the presence of Calhanoglu in their midfield line, the club are likely to struggle in their attempt to climb up the table, with only 15 rounds remaining in the German top flight.
Leverkusen (1.82) are set to welcome Eintracht Frankfurt (4.37) this weekend (February 11) at the BayArena, but we’re backing a draw (3.55) for this match, taking into account the form of both sides in their last five Bundesliga encounters. The hosts for this weekend have recorded three losses, one draw and only one victory in their last five matches, while Frankfurt have clinched three wins while also suffering two losses in the same period.
As we’ve stressed before and Calhanoglu himself, the FIFA ban imposed on him will definitely be a huge blow to his club. Since his transfer from Hamburger SV – where he spent only one season – in the summer of 2014, Calhanoglu has become an integral part of the Leverkusen side by creating countless chances on goal for his teammates, while also showing immense ability to score goals himself, especially through set-pieces.
The Mannheim-born midfielder bagged 13 goals overall in his first campaign (2014/15) with the BayArena side, while the following season he struck the back of the net another eight times. With the FIFA ban in effect now, Calhanoglu won’t play another club game until next season, however for the current campaign (2016/17) he’s managed to strike 7 goals in only 21 games, showcasing what may come in the future once he matures into an all-round attacking midfielder.
(For more info about the online sportsbook, check out bet-at-home Sports Review – it features some of the best Bundesliga markets coupled with huge sportsbook bonuses.)