Boss Thrilled To Land Turkish Star

by Paul McNamara

Sam Allardyce says he is “delighted” to secure the capture of “one of Europe’s best strikers” after Everton completed a deal to sign Turkish superstar Cenk Tosun.

Allardyce quickly identified the purchase of a prolific striker as his priority for this January transfer window following his appointment as boss in November.

And 26-year-old Tosun fits the bill, having plundered 41 goals in 96 league appearances for Besiktas, and a further five in the Champions League for the powerhouse Turkish outfit.

Tosun scored 20 goals in last season’s Super Lig to help the Istanbul club retain the Turkish title and struck a glorious contender for Champions League goal of the season past then Benfica goalkeeper – and now Manchester City number one – Ederson.

He has continued to dazzle on the European scene this term, striking four group stage goals in the continent’s premier competition to help Besiktas reach the last-16 for the first time since 1987.

Allardyce has scouted the global market extensively and was thrilled to land his number one target – who has penned a deal committing him to Goodison Park until the end of June 2022.

“It is a massive boost for us all,” said Allardyce. “He is Turkey’s number one striker and has scored goals in the Champions League and the Turkish League. I don’t think you can look any more than we have done and, for the price, this is the best in Europe at the moment.

“We could not have carried out any more research – we have looked at the player’s talent and goal scoring ability, which is fantastic.

“And this lad looks like he is resilient and strong mentally, too. He has a good pedigree and is another player who is desperate to play in the Premier League.

“He is an all-rounder, with good movement. He is two-footed, not the biggest but efficient in the air and in the box – he gets good space to get his head on the ball. We will try to break him in gently – but I do not think you can break anyone in gently in January, it is a case of get in, get your sleeves rolled up and get on with it!”

Allardyce tightened up Everton defensively almost overnight after taking charge. The Blues conceded only two goals in the 63-year-old's first seven matches at the helm – winning four and drawing three of those games.

Everton hit the net 10 times in Allardyce’s opening five fixtures – but the goals have dried up recently, with the Toffees scoring only one in their past four outings.

And the manager underlined the significance of getting the deal for 25-cap Turkey forward Tosun tied up at the earliest possible opportunity.

“Securing the player is the most important thing because it has been the Club’s biggest area of concern, the number of goals we are capable of getting,” said Allardyce.

“I am delighted the Club have been able to get the deal over the line and think that, with Cenk’s track record, his age and his ability, hopefully, he will be the player to help us score more goals.

“I think that with his pedigree, he can make that impact we need.

“We haven’t got many players in that elite block of age in our squad, so hopefully he will come to the Club and show he is good value for money. If he is successful by scoring goals for us then it will be an exceptional deal that we have done.”

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