Leicester City flop Ghezzal joins Besiktas on loan

Ghezzal Fiorentina
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After featuring for Fiorentina last term, the Algeria international will compete for the Turkish Super Lig outfit for the remainder of the season

Algeria international Rachid Ghezzal has joined Turkish Super Lig outfit Besiktas on a season-long loan from Premier League side Leicester City.

The 28-year-old winger joined the Foxes in the summer of 2018 as a direct replacement for his countryman Riyad Mahrez, who left for Manchester City.

However, the former Lyon and AS Monaco man failed to live up to expectations and was sent on loan to Serie A outfit Fiorentina, with the Violets having an option to make the deal permanent.

In the 2019-20 season, he played in 19 Italian top-flight games and scored once in the 3-1 defeat of Lecce on July 15, 2020.

Following his failure to fit into Brendan Rodgers’ plans for the ongoing campaign, he has been shipped to Sergen Yalcin’s side with the ambition of getting first-team action.

Besiktas announced his signing after he passed his medical at the Acıbadem Altunizade Hospital.

With this move, he becomes the fourth African in Yalcin’s squad after Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar, DR Congo's Fabrice N'Sakala and Bernard Mensah, who is on loan from Kayserispor.

At Vodafone Park, Istanbul, he will wear jersey No. 18. He is expected to make his maiden appearance for the Black Eagles when they face Denizlispor in a Turkish top-flight clash on October 26 at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

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As it stands, Besiktas occupy the 15th position in the log after accruing just four points in four fixtures played so far in the 2020-21 league campaign.

Despite featuring for France at U20 level, Ghezzal pledged his international allegiance to Algeria. In 2013, he made his debut for the North Africans before scoring his first goal in March 2016 against Ethiopia.

He was overlooked by coach Djamel Belmadi for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations staged in Egypt. There, Algeria emerged as champions after defeating Sadio Mane’s Senegal in the final.