Everton first-team coach Duncan Ferguson says Cenk Tosun has “found the pace of the Premier League” and has hailed the striker’s ruthlessness in front of goal.
The Turkey international – signed by manager Sam Allardyce from Besiktas in January – has scored four goals in Everton’s past six games after adjusting to life in English football.
The variety of Tosun’s strikes has particularly caught the eye – the 26-year-old has found the back of the net with two clinical headers and thumping right and left-footed efforts.
And while he was not on target in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Swansea City, the German-born forward showed his all-round play with tireless work-rate, also clearing two headers off the line from Federico Fernandez and Alfie Mawson.
Tosun’s qualities have helped the Blues get to within a point of Leicester City in eighth place. Everton were just two points off the relegation zone when Allardyce watched from the Goodison stands as the Toffees beat West Ham United 4-0 on the eve of his appointment.
As well as his goal threat, Tosun’s link-up play, strength and effort have also impressed in recent weeks. And former Blues striker Ferguson, who Tosun paid tribute to recently for the extra work the duo have done together on the training ground including a warm-weather camp in Dubai, pointed to the forward's biggest asset.
“He’s a finisher,” said the Scot. “I’ve worked with players before…and he’s a finisher. You know, in the main, if he gets a chance, he’ll stick it in.
“I think he’s found the pace of the game now. When he was at Besiktas he had a winter break and he came back maybe not quite ready. But we continued to work with him. We had a few weeks prior to when we went out to Dubai and then we trained hard there.
“We have had a good bit of work since then on the training ground and I think it’s just finding the pace of the Premier League – it’s not easy. But he’s sharpened up and managed to get a couple of goals. We hope that continues.”
Tosun has recently spoken of how he “would like to become an Everton legend like Duncan”.
The Turk also joined the likes of Cuco Martina and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in praising the first-team coach for his one-on-one work at USM Finch Farm, saying the extra training sessions have been key in his acclimatisation to English football.
“Duncan always believed in me,” Tosun said. “When I wasn’t playing he helped me keep my head up, he’s been fantastic. We work really closely together, I think I remind him of himself a bit.”
For Ferguson – who played 273 games and scored 72 goals during two spells with Blues – helping talents such as Tosun hone and improve their skills-sets is something he relishes.
The Blues great admitted that hearing such complimentary words was a source of pride but he was eager to highlight the influence of Blues manager Allardyce – as well as his fellow members of the backroom team including assistant manager Sammy Lee, fellow first-team coach Craig Shakespeare and Performance Director Dr Ryland Morgans – in helping Tosun adapt to the Premier League.
“It is nice to know your work is getting recognised but it is not just me, there are other coaches who have got that input,” Ferguson said. “It’s nice to get a mention but I’ll continue to just do my work as best as I possibly can.
“When we’re working one-on-one, the strikers just want to be hitting the goal and we do a lot of work on finishing, as well as on players’ weaknesses – maybe a player wants to work on their left foot. I take a lot of pride in working with them.
“I have enjoyed working with all the players depending on what the manager asks me to do, whether it’s defensive and midfield work, or striker work.
“The manager has given me a lot of leeway with my coaching. He has a lot of experience so I have learnt a lot from him.”