Melbourne City FC is delighted to announce the signing of 32-year-old German midfielder, Tolgay Arslan, who joins the Club directly from the Serie A on a two-year deal.
Arriving in Melbourne from Udinese, Arslan joins City off the back of 36 appearances in Italy’s top-flight last season and made over 100 total appearances in his time with the club.
Primarily used as a central midfielder, Arslan also boasts the flexibility to play in multiple roles across the middle of the park.
He spent several years in Borussia Dortmund’s Academy as a junior, before joining then-Bundesliga club, Hamburger SV and played alongside the likes of Mario Gotze and Son Heung-min during his time in Germany.
Arslan’s impressive CV also includes over 130 appearances for Turkish giants Beşiktaş, where he won back-to-back Turkish Süper Lig titles in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
He famously scored for Beşiktaş against Liverpool in the 2015 Europa League, before also netting the winning penalty in the shootout to knock the Premier League giants out of the competition.
Arslan becomes Melbourne City’s first new signing ahead of the 2023/24 season. He is expected to play a key role in midfield for City as the Club embarks on its second AFC Champions League campaign while aiming to win a fourth-consecutive A-League Men’s Premiers Plate.
Melbourne City FC Director of Football, Michael Petrillo said:
“We are incredibly excited about Tolgay’s signing, he’s got a winning mentality and we’re looking forward to welcoming him to Melbourne.
“He has played at the top level in Turkey, Germany and Italy; just last season making 36 appearances for Udinese in the Serie A and he is a proven winner, having won two Championships with Beşiktaş.
“With his pedigree, work ethic, ability to control the play and versatility, he will be a key asset for our midfield. He has a great first touch and passing ability, which really suits the City style of play.
“On the pitch his natural football technique and attacking ability will fit right into our style of football, and off the pitch, he will bring leadership and experience to the dressing room.”
Tolgay Arslan said:
“I remember when I was playing for Beşiktaş in Turkey, I had an inner voice saying, ‘one day I will play in Australia.’
“I have three kids and as a family, we decided to do something new after Udinese. I’m really happy with the decision now to come to Australia. For me, it was ‘Melbourne or nothing.’
“I love the way Melbourne City play and the way they dominate the football. After my first talk with the Director (Michael Petrillo) and Coach (Rado Vidosic), I had a very good feeling and knew this was where I wanted to play.
“I have three uncles in Melbourne so I will already have a little family here. It sounds like a good family atmosphere at City and I can’t wait to meet all my teammates and the fans.”
Stay tuned for plenty more signing announcements in the days and weeks to come!
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