Istanbul Basaksehir: The Turkish Super Lig table-toppers littered with former Premier League stars, including Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Robinho

1 Mar

Ahead of this weekend’s north London derby, remembers Emmanuel Adebayor.

A player who made the headlines for good reasons and bad during his 11-year stay in England’s top flight.

Adebayor made the headlines for good reasons and bad during his stay in England

Adebayor is a despised figure among Arsenal supporters for his emotional and costly goal celebration in 2009.

But in his prime he was a lethal striker – and his record of eight goals in north London derbies has only recently been matched by Harry Kane.

The Togolese is now plying his trade in Turkey with Istanbul Basaksehir and he could be about to fire his side to their first Super Lig trophy.

Turkey has made its name as a bit of a retirement destination for former Premier League stars – and Adebayor’s side are no different. has explored their squad and has found the side is littered with ex-Prem players. But who are they?

Emmanuel Adebayor

The former played in the Premier League for Arsenal, Spurs, Manchester City and most recently Crystal Palace.

As a City player he once celebrated scoring against his former club Arsenal by running the length of the pitch and knee sliding in front of their support.

Adebayor in action for Basaksehir

He made the unlikely move to Crystal Palace in 2016 and scored one goal in 12 appearances for the Eagles.

Now, he leads the line for Basaksehir and he has scored two goals in 13 appearances.

His overall record for the club is better, however, with 23 goals in 53 league appearances.

Gael Clichy

The right-back spent 14 years in the English top flight with Arsenal and then Manchester City.

Clichy now plays in Turkey

He made his name as one of the finest full-backs in the land with the Gunners and later made a £7million transfer to Manchester.

Now, he has been a solid outlet on the left-side of defence in his side’s impressive league campaign – netting once in 17 matches.

Emre Belozoglu

The Turk moved to Newcastle in 2005 and spent three seasons with the Magpies.

He appeared 58 times and once scored the winner in the Tyne-Wear derby.

Ultimately his career at Newcastle was hampered significantly by injury.

Emre has scored 14 times for the Super Lig side

Ten years on and two clubs later Emre moved to Istanbul Basaksehir – and the captain has scored 14 goals in 108 appearances in his four year stint with the club.

Eljero Elia

The Dutch winger moved to Southampton on loan in January for the rest of the 2014/15 season.

He made a good impression for the Saints and made clear his desire to sign permanently after scoring a brace against Newcastle.

Elia has made 13 appearances for Basaksehir this term

However, a deal never went through and he moved onto Feyenoord the following season.

This season he has one goal in 13 appearances for Basaksehir.

Demba Ba

The striker started his Premier League career with West Ham after moving from Hoffenheim in January and finished as their top scorer despite only playing for half the season.

He then became one of the best strikers in England at Newcastle United – scoring 29 goals in 54 appearances and earning a move to Chelsea.

Ba in action for Chelsea

For the Blues he scored some crucial goals but will be remembered mostly for scoring the goal after Steven Gerrard slipped to lose Liverpool the title.

Ba moved to Istanbul in January and has scored two goals in his opening four appearances for the league leaders.

Gokhan Inler

The Swiss midfielder was a rock in the Napoli midfield from 2011-2015 and moved to Leicester for their title-winning campaign.

He only made five appearances for the Foxes but that was enough to earn him a Premier League medal.

Inler has one goal in 27 appearances for the Turkish club

He struggled to break into the line-up due to the good form of N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater and he moved onto Besiktas the following season.

After a year with Besiktas, Inler signed for the Turkish club and has one goal in 27 appearances.


The Brazilian completed a stunning £32million deadline day transfer to Manchester City which would see them smash their club record fee for a player.

He enjoyed a good first season in the Premier League, notching up 14 goals and finishing as City’s top goalscorer.

Robinho playing for Manchester City

However, his second season was disastrous and he left the club to return to his former club Santos in Brazil.

On January 1st, despite being found guilty of sexual assault of an Albanian woman in 2013, Robinho signed for Istanbul Basaksehir and he has scored once in his two appearances this season.