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Galatasaray’s wild card Yılmaz ready to shine against Hatayspor

Galatasaray forward Barış Alper Yılmaz is poised to make an impact in the Süper Lig’s 31st-week match against Hatayspor on Tuesday if selected by coach Okan Buruk.

Yılmaz moved from Ankara Keçiörengücü to join the Istanbul side for a fee of 2.1 million euros ($2.3 million) in July 2021.

Currently, in his third season with the Lions, he has proven to be a valuable asset.

During the 2021-2022 season, Barış Alper featured in 23 official matches, with an average playing time of 23 minutes per game.

Despite being part of the squad during the club’s most challenging season, the promising young forward did not make a significant impact on the scoreline. Following changes in management and coaching staff, Yılmaz was retained in the squad. In his second season, he played in 30 matches, increasing his average playing time to 34 minutes.

Notably, he shone in the Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş derbies, scoring four goals.

His impressive contributions led to an extension of his contract, originally set to expire after the 2025-2026 season, now extended to 2026-2027 with improved terms.

Yılmaz is known for his strong physique, speed, ball control and finishing, making him a standout player for Galatasaray this season.

He has played in 46 out of 47 total matches, including the Süper Lig, UEFA Champions League qualifiers and group stage, UEFA Europa League and Turkish Cup.

With an average playing time of 59 minutes per match, the young player has found the net four times in these competitions.

Barış Alper Yılmaz has contributed to the team’s success this season with his impressive performances in various positions.

He came to the rescue of the Istanbulites, who did not get the expected performance from some of the transfers made at the beginning of the season.

Used as both a right-back and left-back by head coach Okan Buruk, despite being an attacking player, Yılmaz’s versatility has been crucial for the team.

Playing in all positions except goalkeeper, center-back, and defensive midfielder, the young player has significantly contributed to his team’s good performance.

His versatility has not only made coach Okan Buruk’s selection for the starting 11 easier but has also provided options for in-game substitutions.

Yılmaz has had the most appearances for Galatasaray this season.

The Lions played 30 matches in the Süper Lig, 14 in Europe, and three in the Turkish Cup this season.

Yılmaz featured in a total of 47 official matches, missing only one game. He played in 46 matches overall, missing only the 16th-week match against Sivasspor due to suspension.

Despite being the player with the most appearances in the team this season, Barış Alper ranked eighth in terms of playing time in the first half of the season due to coming off the bench.

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