Artem Dzyuba will feel more at home in Turkey thanks to the presence of a nuclear power plant being constructed by Russia not far from the footballer’s new team, Adana Demirspor, according to one journalist.
Dzyuba, 33, was unveiled as a new signing by Turkish Super Lig leaders Demirspor on Thursday after the forward left Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg at the end of last season.
Dzyuba has already indicated he is settling in to his new surroundings on the Mediterranean coast – and Turkish journalist Siyamend Kacmaz has suggested there is one factor which will help even more.
Namely, that is the presence of the Akkuyu nuclear power plant being constructed in Mersin province, just to the west of Adana.
“Mersin is a 30-minute drive from Adana, Russia is building a nuclear power plant there, many Russian people live there,” Kacmaz told Russia’s Match TV channel.
“Also, football is very popular in Turkey. Maybe Dzyuba’s starting to think why he didn’t come to Turkey earlier.”
Russia is helping to construct the Akkuyu nuclear power plant – which will be Turkey’s first – through a subsidiary of the state-owned Rosatom, and it is expected to come online in 2023.
Dzyuba, meanwhile, shared a video of his new home on social media, telling fans he was impressed with the Turkish city.
The 6ft 5in striker left Zenit as a free agent after helping then to a fourth successive Russian Premier League title.
He has joined Demirspor on a one-year deal with the option of a further season.
The frontman is his country’s joint top-scorer of all-time in international football, netting 30 times in 55 appearances for Russia.
However, former Russia skipper Dzyuba has not featured for the national team since the disappointment of the early exit from Euro 2020 last summer.
At Demirspor, Dzyuba will link up with eccentric former Manchester City and Inter Milan striker Mario Balotelli, as well as former Zenit teammate Yaroslav Rakitskiy.
Having finished ninth in the Turkish Super Lig table last season, Demirspor lead the way after two wins from two games of the current campaign.
Speaking to TASS the Turkish club’s sporting director, Gokhan Gokturk, said he was hoping for 20 goals this season from Dzyuba.
“Dzyuba is an experienced football player, he will be able to do it,” added Gokturk, suggesting that the Russian’s arrival would not unsettle the notoriously temperamental Balotelli.
Demirspor are next in action against Istanbul giants Fenerbahce on Monday night, in what could be feisty introduction to Turkish football for Dzyuba.