Bruma Finding Life in Turkey Tough

Bruma - GalatasarayMuch-heralded winger, Bruma has not had an easy time of it in Turkey. After debuting impressively for Sporting during the second half of the 2012-2013 season, Bruma made the move to Turkish giants Galatasaray at the beginning of last season. Since then, the winger has battled with injuries and falls from grace in the team, which have made his time at the club very unstable thus far. There was much hope for Bruma when experienced ex-Italy National Team boss Cesare Prandelli took the helm at Galatasaray at the beginning of the season, but that hope has not been realized as of yet.

Always regarded as a top prospect during his time at Sporting, Bruma attracted the likes of Manchester City and Chelsea as early as the age of 17. Once he made the breakthrough, there was no stopping the speculation train. An impressive performance at the 2013 U-20 World Cup (where he won the silver shoe, finishing with 5 goals) further fueled the fire. It came as no surprise when Bruma left behind a troubled Sporting side in favor of a more stable Galatasaray side at the beginning of the 2013/2014 season. Galatasaray were a perennial powerhouse in the Turkish League, as well as a regular in the Champions League. At the time, they were coached by another experienced Italian manager, Roberto Mancini, who had on his resume experience coaching the likes of Inter Milan and Manchester City.

Bruma began his time in Turkey very brightly, most notably with some impressive performances in the Champions League. In the first half of the season, Bruma played impressively, if sporadically, appearing 15 times, scoring once, and assisting six times. In his first half-season at Galatasaray, Bruma also managed to find his way into the Portuguese Under-21 team, despite only being 18 at the time. And after scoring on his debut for the U-21s, he was called by Paulo Bento to represent the Portuguese national team. Though he did not make an appearance for the team, the message was clear. Bruma was one to watch, and he was growing well as a player.

But then it all went wrong. During a cup tie for Galatasaray in January, Bruma injured his knee, thus ruling him out for the entire season and eliminating him from contention for a World Cup spot. At the time of the injury, Bruma was just beginning to gain a foot-hold in the Galatasaray team. His performances were improving, and his confidence was growing. And with Nani misfiring at Manchester United at the time, many truly believed that Bruma had a chance at making the plane to Brazil for the World Cup.

Fast forward to this pre-season. Bruma returns from injury, and the Turkish press laud his return as “Galatasaray’s best summer signing.” And it wasn’t a stretch. Bruma played a huge role in Galatasaray’s pre-season, and many hoped that he would be able to put the injury behind him and have a break-out season. But that hasn’t proved the case. Despite impressive cameos so far this season, Bruma has not been given many opportunities by Prandelli. This was perfectly brought to light just the other day when Prandelli excluded Bruma from a team of 18 to travel for team’s Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund. Prandelli explained that the reason was “tactical,” but few will be appeased, after his team was demolished 4-0 by the Germans yesterday.

Bruma has made his discontent about being benched very clear, and many teams have been put on alert. Monaco, Manchester United, Malaga, and Arsenal have all shown interest recently, and if his situation isn’t resolved, Bruma may not be a Galatasaray player much longer.

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