Why are Besiktas fans talking about Teemu Pukki?
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Transfer windows are often responsible for throwing up the weird and the wonderful - Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki is certainly on the receiving end of the former, with supporters of Turkish club Besiktas bombarding the Finn with messages on social media.
Pukki’s Instagram account has been hijacked with thousands of comments encouraging City’s striker to ‘Come to Besiktas’ a social trend that has rapidly become one of the most used in the football sphere.
Besiktas fans adopted the phrase after a social media video confirming the signing of Portuguese defender Pepe in 2017.
In the video, Portuguese international Ricardo Quaresma invites the former Real Madrid defender to ‘Come to Besiktas’ - with their conversation over the phone being recorded and made into a video published on the club’s social media channels.
The video capitalises on Besiktas’ own supporters, whose variation of “Announce [Player Name]” was beginning to gain traction on social media.
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The simple turn of phrase became a viral trend and is pivotal to persuading footballers to swap their respective clubs for the Turkish Super Liga - as Besiktas head of communications Candas Tolga Isik explains.
“There was this one player on our transfer list, we were in talks with him and our fans started flooding his social media accounts with “Come to Besiktas” comments,” Isik told Goal back in 2018.
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“But not 3,000 or 5,000 messages, I’m talking about nearly six million comments. And this turned into a slogan. During the transfer season we were trying to find a campaign and I suggested we continue with this slogan.”
So why have Besiktas supporters began to target Pukki?
Last month, Turkish newspaper Foto Spor claimed that City’s striker had been identified as a potential recruit and stated that exploratory talks had even being held with the Finn’s representatives.
Accounts on social media have advanced the claim, stating that Pukki is set to join the Turkish giants on loan with an option to buy - a claim that lacks substance at present.
From one Twitter account, the claims are being echoed by well followed Besiktas fan accounts - with the rumour spreading like wildfire on social media.
That led their supporters to launch a ‘Come to Besiktas’ campaign, where they spam the comments sections of their desired signing’s recent social media posts with the slogan.
Only time will tell how persuasive it proves to be to City’s striker, but Daniel Farke reiterated his desire for the Finnish international to remain at the club to spearhead the Canaries push back to the Premier League - although his international manager Markku Kanerva urged the Finn to leave Carrow Road.