Hakan completes English move

Blackburn Rovers FC have signed Turkish international Hakan Sükür until the end of the season.

Turkish international striker Hakan Sükür has joined English club Blackburn Rovers FC until the end of the season as a free agent after he was released from his contract at Parma AC.

Former manager
The 31-year-old will join fellow countryman Tugay Kerimoglu at Ewood Park, although Hakan is currently injured and hence unavailable for immediate selection. "I am delighted Hakan is joining us," said Blackburn manager Graeme Souness, who worked with the player during his time in charge of Galatasaray SK.

'Natural athlete'
"He is a natural athlete and will provide us with something different," continued Souness. "He is carrying a slight injury at the moment but that has been taken into account and we are confident he will strengthen our squad." Blackburn coaches Phil Boersma and Dean Saunders were also colleagues of Hakan at Galatasaray along with the club's current goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

Best season
Hakan started his career at Sakaryaspor in 1987 before a 1990 switch to Bursaspor. Two years later he joined Galatasaray, enjoying an excellent career at the Ali Sami Yen where he regularly topped the goalscoring charts. In 1996/97, he hit 38 goals in 32 matches, his best season ever in Turkey.

Italian moves
An unsuccessful short stint at Torino Calcio in 1995 failed to dampen his enthusiasm for Italian football and he returned to Serie A with Internazionale FC following Galatasaray's UEFA Cup success in 2000. Again, though, Hakan failed to settle, scoring five goals in 24 matches before being loaned to Parma.

World Cup landmark
However, Hakan remained first choice for Turkey throughout, helping them to qualify for this year's FIFA World Cup by scoring six goals in eleven qualifying matches. He failed to spark in Korea/Japan as Turkey were eliminated at the semi-final stage, yet recovered to score the fastest goal in finals' history against the Korean Republic in the third-place play-off, a 3-2 win.