A transfer chain of reactions which was started by Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United departure has now finally been completed.
Ronaldo left Old Trafford before the start of the World Cup, following an explosive tell-all interview with Piers Morgan. The 37-year-old was hoping for a move to a team in the Champions League, but instead ended up in Saudi Arabia.
He completed his move to Al-Nassr at the beginning of the January window, signing an eye-watering contract worth a reported £173m-per-year. His arrival then set in motion a number of moves across the world, which culminated in Vincent Aboubakar signing for Besiktas on Saturday.
Aboubakar, who has started a public war of words with Liverpool ’s Mohamed Salah, was forced to leave Al-Nassr in order for Ronaldo to be registered. The Cameroon international returns to the Turkish giants for the third time in his career, having won two Super Lig titles in his previous spells in Istanbul.
He is also coming off the back of an impressive World Cup campaign, which saw him score one of the goals of the tournament with an audacious chip vs Serbia. Aboubakar was no stranger to being in the headlines prior to his exploits in Qatar, having become a vocal critic of Salah.
Speaking earlier this year, after Egypt beat Cameroon in the African Cup of Nations, he said of the Reds forward: “He doesn’t impress me much. I say it clearly because I’m an honest person and I have my way of seeing things.
“If he impressed me, I would say so. But he doesn’t impress me much. He’s a good player, he scores a lot but he doesn't produce a lot of stuff in the game.
“Of course, he’s doing good stuff in the Premier League because he’s been in a team that’s been there for years. He’s a good player but not at the level of someone like (Kylian) Mbappe.”
Aboubakar returns to Besiktas in order to replace the player United drafted in to fill the void left by Ronaldo, Wout Weghorst. The Burnley loanee was with the club on a season-long loan, but engineered an exit earlier this month to get himself a dream move to the Premier League giants.
The Dutchman cost United around £2.5m, with that fee going to Besiktas in order to cancel his loan agreement. He could make his second Red Devils appearance this weekend, when they take on league leaders Arsenal at the Emirates.
"To be honest I trained one time with the whole squad before the match," he told Sky Sports about his first outing in a United shirt. "I did my best, the room to improve is definitely there but I was satisfied. You wish for a more special debut of course but the result at the end gave us a little bit of a bad feeling.
"[Sunday is a] big match of course for us to make this gap smaller. We’re ready, I’m ready and like I said I hope to score [my first] goal as quickly as possible."
As for Ronaldo, he is yet to make his debut for Al-Nassr after discovering the two-match ban imposed by the Football Association carried over to his new club. He did play for a Saudi All-Star XI in midweek, scoring twice vs PSG. He could make his competitive debut on Sunday, when the Saudi title challengers take on Ettifaq.