Feyenoord swoop for Basaçikoglu and Wilkshire

Feyenoord have added two new names to the roster for the 2014-15 season. Bilal Basaçikoglu is a 19-year-old striker who arrives from sc Heerenveen. On Thursday he signed a four-year contract with an option on an extra year. Defender Luke Wilkshire (32) arrives on a free transfer from Dynamo Moscow, where he’s played since 2008. The Australian international me signed a one-year deal, which also includes a clause allowing Feyenoord to extend the contract by another twelve months. Wilkshire will wear the number 2 jersey at Feyenoord, while Basaçikoglu will wear the number 14 jersey.

Technical director Martin van Geel is pleased with the double swoop. ‘Our policy is to complement players from our own youth academy with highly talented players from elsewhere. With that in mind, we are delighted with the arrival of Bilal Basaçikoglu, who has signed a multi-year deal and will have the chance to grow and develop here. We also think that talent can only be developed alongside experienced players, while we also carefully monitor the balance in the team and do not want to introduce our youngsters too quickly.
 
‘In that respect, Luke Wilkshire is a very welcome reinforcement. We are delighted to be able to sign him on a free transfer and that we have been able to add more experience, alongside seasoned players like Joris Mathijsen, Khalid Boulahrouz and Ruben Schaken, to this squad, which has an average age of not even 24.’
 
Youth international Basaçikoglu made quite a splash at sc Heerenveen last season. The winger played 25 leagues games for the Frisians, netting six goals. Heerenveen signed Basaçikoglu from amateur club Pancratius in 2011.
 
Wilkshire’s move to Feyenoord entails a return to the Eredivisie, where he played for FC Twente between 2006 and 2008. In his last season in Enschede he helped his club finished second in the league. Wilkshire has also played for Middlesbrough (2000-2003) and Bristol City (2003-2006).
 
Wilkshire has racked up 80 appearances for the Socceroos and has played in two world cups – Germany 2006 and South Africa 2010 – under coaches Guus Hiddink and Pim Verbeek respectively. Wilkshire played 23 leagues matches for Dynamo Moscow last season.
 
Neither Basaçikoglu nor Wilkshire will be available for the second leg Champions League qualifier against Besiktas, as Uefa does not permit squads to be changed after submission.

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