Radamel Falcao is unlikely to play against St Johnstone after Galatasaray chairman Burak Elmas told the Colombian legend to find a new club as cost-cutting begins in the wake of their failure to qualify for the Champions League.
The same applies to ex-West Ham man and high-earner Sofiane Feghouli.
Even in that duo’s absence, the Turkish giants have plenty of household names in their vast squad, with Callum Davidson admitting that watching videos of recent games hasn’t got him any closer to predicting Fatih Terim’s starting line-up or formation.
Courier Sport picks out five familiar figures.
1 Ryan Babel
The former Ditch international is only a year younger than Falcao at 34 and his best years are undoubtedly well behind him.
In fact, you could make a strong argument that Babel’s was potential that went unfulfilled.
Signed from Ajax for over £10 million he was supposed to be Liverpool’s Thierry Henry.
He only scored 12 goals in four seasons but will be remembered for winning a penalty and scoring a goal in a famous Champions League quarter-final victory against Arsenal.
Over 60 caps for the Netherlands isn’t too shabby, mind you.
2 Patrick van Aanholt
Another Dutchman, van Aanholt was a bigger success in England than Babel.
For seven years, with Sunderland and then Crystal Palace, he has been one of the most reliable left-backs in the Premier League, regularly linked with a big move.
I AM ASLAN 🦁 pic.twitter.com/6R4gsXT3CW
— Patrick van Aanholt (@pvanaanholt) July 28, 2021
He only signed for Galatasaray at the end of last month and may have to wait a bit longer for his debut but if he does play, van Aanholt’s battle with Shaun Rooney will be a fascinating one.
At 30, this is a player still very much at the top of his game and an impressive recruit.
3 Arda Turan
When Xavi puts the description “exceptional talent” on you then you can say you’re the real deal.
Wth 100 caps, Turan is fifth on the all-time appearance record for Turkey.
The attacking midfielder started out with Galatasaray and after nearly a decade in Spain with Atletico Madrid and then Barcelona (winning La Liga at both), he has come home.
Turan, another one in his mid-30s, might not have the energy of his peak but Murray Davidson and Ali McCann can’t afford to let such a talented ball-player roam free.
We’ll maybe just gloss over the three-year suspended jail sentence for firing a gun in a hospital after a fight with a singer.
4 Mbaye Diagne
Jason Kerr is disappointed that he probably won’t be facing Falcao but Diagne will pose the Perth captain and the other two saints centre-backs a very different type of problem.
At 6ft 4in, the Senegal international’s power is matched by his pace.
He’s got a better than one in two goal average with Galatasaray and scored three times in a short loan spell at West Bromwich Albion last season – against Fulham, Manchester United and Chelsea.
More recently, the 29-year-old grabbed a consolation in the second leg of the disastrous Champions League qualifier against PSV Eindhoven.
Diagne, like Babel, has been a bit of a football nomad but Bruges fans might not remember him too fondly.
In a 2019 Champions League group game against PSG he disobeyed his manager, took penalty duties off a team-mate and then saw it saved.
He was dropped and fined.
5 Sacha Boey
That Celtic have been in the market for a right-back is an open secret and Boey was the man identified to fill the role.
Talks broke down over personal terms apparently, Galatasaray jumped to the head of the queue for the young Rennes defender and now he’s in line to face Saints in the Europa League as opposed to the Scottish Premiership.
— 💛𝓑𝓐𝓓𝓔𝓡 𝓐𝓑𝓓𝓤𝓛𝓛𝓐𝓗❤️ (@Baderinho10) July 26, 2021
There’s only a year between Boey and Davidson’s on-loan right-back Reece Devine so this will be an excellent gauge of the Manchester United youngster’s capabilities after he started so brightly against Ross County.
Saints fans will be hoping he hasn’t Googled the ‘Spoony Chop’.