Galatasaray boss Terim hails Belhanda after Europa League display

Younes Belhanda Galatasaray 2102019
The Morocco international made a key contribution after only six minutes of his introduction and has been praised by the Yellow and Reds coach

Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has showered encomium on Younes Belhanda following his impressive performances in their 2-0 victory over Hajduk Split in Thursday’s Europa League third qualifying round game.

The 30-year-old made a significant impact in the encounter to help the Turk Telekom Stadı outfit progress into the next qualifying round.

Belhanda was brought on in the 71st minute for Omer Bayram and inspired the Yellow and Reds to victory, breaking the deadlock six minutes after his introduction.

Former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel then sealed the victory with four minutes left to play after he was set up by Marcao.

Belhanda has been with the Turk Telekom Stadı outfit since 2017 when he joined the side from Ukrainian Premier League club Dynamo Kyiv.

The Morocco international has featured in various positions for the Yellow and Reds since teaming up with the side and again displayed his versatility against Hajduk Split, to the delight of his manager.

“This is essentially what we should normally expect from Belhanda for a player of his talent,” Terim told the club website.

“He did very well in the Championship in the first two years.  We managed to get him to play in number eight and ten roles and encouraged him to shoot and now he also plays in the number 9 position.  

“He adds beauty to the game because he has the capacity to feature well in those roles – On the wing, in the midfield and in the attack.

“He makes a lot of surprises against opponent and switches positions. He's enjoying what he's playing right now. We also enjoy what he plays. I hope it will continue like this.”

The victory ensured Galatasaray extend their winning run to four games across all competitions and are unbeaten in the current campaign. 

Belhanda will hope his eye-catching performances at Turk Telekom Stadı will earn him a starting role when they face Fenerbahce in their next Super Lig game on Sunday.

Article continues below

The forward featured for France U20 before switching his allegiance to Morocco and has 58 caps for the North African country. 

Belhanda was part of Morocco’s team at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt and will be expected to play a prominent role in their qualifiers for the next edition of the tournament.