All you need to know about Turkey star Burak Yilmaz

All you need to know about Turkey star Burak Yilmaz

Publish on 09/02 at 05:47 - D. CROSSAN


At 35 LOSC's Turkish international forward Burak Yilmaz is going from strength to strength. Ligue1.com gives you the lowdown on the northern club's new signing.

With Victor Osimhen and Loïc Rémy having left in the summer, LOSC needed a fresh strike pairing and signed Yilmaz on a two-year deal from Besiktas in early August, with the wily veteran soon joined by club record signing Jonathan David, the Canadian acquired for an initial 27 million euros from Gent.

Yilmaz made his LOSC debut at home to Rennes in Round 1, coming on for David with 26 minutes to play. The duo started together at Reims in Round 2 and their link-up remains a work in progress, although Yilmaz's clever hold-up play and game nous should soon see David flourish. Yilmaz managed his first assist in the French game against Reims, laying the ball off for Jonathan Bamba to net the winner from outside the box, and his scoring record in Turkey suggests it won't be long before he finds the back of the net himself. Yilmaz bagged an impressive 187 goals in 323 Süper Lig matches, has 24 goals in 59 matches for his country and 10 strikes in 33 Champions League matches.

Celik: "The number 17 shirt will be yours"

Yilmaz's integration at LOSC was facilitated by the presence of fellow Turkish internationals Yusuf Yazici and Zeki Celik. The full-back went out of his way to make sure Yilmaz would be able to wear his favourite number in Ligue 1 Uber Eats. Yilmaz said: "He told me 'big brother, when you come the number 17 will be yours, don't you worry'."

When Yilmaz was mulling over the switch he contacted his compatriots: "I straight away called Yusuf and Zeki and they gave me a really good description of LOSC. I asked them a lot of questions and their answers fulfilled my expectations. The fact they're playing in a context where they're very happy on a personal level was a very important factor in my decision."

A proven competitor, Yilmaz featured for all the big clubs in his home country: having come through the Antalyaspor youth system, he turned out for Fenerbahçe, Trabzonspor, Galatasaray and Besiktas. Moving to France means a new test and LOSC will look to the seasoned attacker to spearhead their Europa League challenge.

"My job is to be on the pitch and to score goals"

Yilmaz said: "My job is to be on the pitch and to score goals. The pressure continues in a different way with different objectives. I want to write a new chapter with LOSC. I don't want to disappoint myself and I don't want to disappoint LOSC who have placed their faith in me."

In Lille, Yilmaz should be able to enjoy a quieter life than in his homeland, where as a mainstay of the national set-up he has iconic status. His former Galatasary team-mate Aurélien Chedjou told France Football: "You have to realise that he's a huge star in Turkey, not far behind Hakan Sükür. He can't go out in the street otherwise there's a riot! Once I wanted to try out one of the best restaurants in Istanbul but it was full. Burak made a call and got me a table straight away."

Chedjou has a lot of time for Yilmaz the man and also the footballer, adding: "He loves running in behind the defence and he's got great timing in his movement. He's very cunning. He knows how to get himself out of his opponent's eyeline in order to get a position back to goal in order to obtain free-kicks. Watch out for that as he's a very good free-kick taker."

Turkey mainstay

Yilmaz has all the attributes to become a LOSC idol and will have the opportunity to open his Ligue 1 Uber Eats account in the home game against Metz the other side of the international window, during which Turkey will face Hungary and Serbia in the Nations League.