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Who’s This £22.4M Turkish Striker That Crystal Palace Are Chasing? Everything You Need To Know

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Cenk Tosun

Scout Report – Cenk Tosun

Crystal Palace look set to revive their interest in striker Cenk Tosun from Besiktas, after failing with an attempt to land him in the summer, reports the Sun. 

The 26-year old was a subject of strong interest from the Eagles in the summer transfer window, but a move failed to materialise. And now, new manager, Roy Hodgson, is keen on bringing in the Turkish international to help salvage a season that seems to be headed in the direction of relegation. There has been reported interest from Tottenham as well, along with Newcastle United, and it does seem like a move to the Premier League in January is imminent for Tosun.  

With so much interest surrounding him, let’s take a close look at Cenk Tosun and what makes him such a wanted prospect in the transfer market.

Footballing Background 

Born on 7 June, 1991, in Wetzlar, Germany, Tosun started off his footballing career by joining the academy of German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt in 1997, at the age of 6. Despite possessing a prolific goal-scoring record in his days with the youth sides, Tosun could only manage a single appearance for the senior team, before he decided to move to Turkish club Gaziantepspor in 2011.  

Cenk Tosun

The striker enjoyed a decent spell with the club, scoring 44 goals and registering 23 assists in 122 appearances across three seasons, starting in 2011, until 2014. Impressed by his form, Turkish giants Besiktas snapped Tosun up in the summer of 2014. The 26-year old scored on his debut for the club, against Mersin Idman Yurdu and has gone from strength to strength ever since. 

Till date, Tosun has managed 54 goals and 12 assists for Besiktas in 127 games. Last season, he top-scored with 24 goals for the club and has already scored 4 times in 9 games in the ongoing campaign. 

Eligible to play for both Germany and Turkey, Tosun represented the German national teams at all youth ranks starting from the U-16s to the U-21 level and had a very good record at all stages. Having last played in 2010 for the Germany U-21s, he decided to switch allegiance to Turkey in 2012, when he was called up for the U-21 side. He also represented the Turkish U-23 side, before making his senior debut in October 2013. Since then, Tosun has played 23 times for Turkey, scoring 8 times.  

Style of Play 

A centre-forward with great all-round abilities, Tosun is someone who is extremely strong in the air and lethal with either foot. Possessing great pace, top-class ball control and a bag full of tricks, he manages to leave defenders bamboozled in their tracks. 

An intelligent operator in the final third, the 26-year old, apart from his goal-scoring prowess, is known for his smart movement, link-up play and overall involvement in his team’s attacking ventures. Often, he drifts into wide areas, taking defenders along with him, opening spaces for his teammates. He is also capable cutting inside effectively from wider positions. His ability to hold up the ball at the top is another strong facet. 

However, it is his ability to run with the ball at his feet and his clinical finishing that are the standout features of his gameplay. 

What Does the Future Hold? 

Given his form in the past couple of seasons, Besiktas are likely to demand a fee of £22.4 million from any potential buyer, according to the Sun. And while there have been reports of Spurs and Newcastle, it is unlikely that either of the clubs might make a move for Tosun, given they brought in reinforcements in the form of Fernando Llorente and Joselu respectively in the summer.  

Palace seems to be the likeliest of destinations for the 26-year old, especially after Christian Benteke’s recent injury that is set to keep him out till the turn of the year. Tosun has all the abilities needed to excel at this level and will prove to be a great signing for the Eagles, if they manage to pull it off.