Turkish champions Besiktas have today announced that they have exercised their right to purchase Jeremain Lens on a permanent basis, and that he is now officially their player.
The Dutch winger has struggled to impress in Turkey this season having been one of the most outstanding forwards in the Super Lig the year before when with Fenerbache, but that has not deterred his club and they have confirmed that their option to sign him ahead of the completion of the loan deal has been taken.
Lens has started just seven times in the league so far this season, struggling to dislodge former Premier League wingers Ryan Babel and Ricardo Quaresma from the Black Eagles’ starting eleven.
According to Turkish outlet Sporx, the deal is worth €4.089m to Sunderland. Besiktas have already paid €1.5m in order to loan Lens for the entirety of this season.
Just yesterday RokerReport.com spoke with Turkish football writer Kaan Bayazit about how Lens was getting on and, whilst he conceded he’s not really impressing or finding his feet with the club, the belief is that eventually Lens will come good and that he’s viewed by many in Turkey as a very special footballer.
“He’s come to a club that has won back-to-back titles,” Kaan said. “Şenol Güneş (the coach) is extremely loyal to players who have given their all for him. It was always going to be tough for Lens to get a place as a starter as long as Quaresma and Babel were fit. Additionally, these have been two positions in which he has done little rotation in the league/Europe.”
He added: “Lens was Fenerbahçe’s best performer last season,he was their big star and he is perceived as a quality player by everyone in Turkey.”
Despite spending pre-season heavily involved in Simon Grayson’s plans, the Netherlands international left Wearside at the start of August - bringing an end to a thoroughly underwhelming and disappointing relationship between Sunderland and the player.
Signed by Dick Advocaat in 2015, Lens was unable to force his way into the plans of new manager Sam Allardyce and then, in the following summer, he was allowed to leave in order to pursue first-team football with Fenerbache.