Erhun Oztumer: Playmaker reflects on his move to Wanderers

Speaking following confirmation of his move to Macron Stadium, Erhun Oztumer simply couldn’t hide his delight at signing on the dotted line with Wanderers.

The 27-year-old has caught the eye of many during his rise up the Football League pyramid, primarily during a two-year stint with Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium which saw him notch 32 times for the Saddlers in 95 outings.

And after agreeing a two-year deal with the Whites, the Turkish midfielder admitted that he is relishing his latest challenge in the game.

“It’s a great feeling to put pen to paper here at Macron Stadium and I just can’t wait to get started,” he said.

“I’ve known of the club’s interest for a while, but I've just been away on holiday to relax after a long season.

“Once I was back though, I wanted to get everything sorted and now I’m here, I’m raring to go.

“This will be my first taste of Sky Bet Championship football, but I’m excited to test myself with some great players and I’m aiming to show the Bolton fans what I’m capable of.

“I know a few of the lads here already and hopefully it will be a great season for us in 2018/19.”

He continued, “I’ve not had too many dealings with the manager before, but I’ve played against his teams when he was in charge of Bradford and then of course I played against Bolton in 2016/17.

“He knows me well as a player though and after chatting with him, I just felt that it was the right move for me.

“He told me everything that I wanted to hear and that’s why I’m here as a Bolton Wanderers player today.”

It hasn’t been all plain sailing for Oztumer meanwhile in his quest for success in the game, with him moving abroad to ply his trade in Turkey for Maniasaspor, Sivasspor and Anadolu Uskudar after being released by Charlton Athletic as a teenager.

Once back on British soil in 2012 however, he joined Dulwich Hamlet and scored over 60 goals in two years – form which convinced Peterborough United to take him to the ABAX Stadium for two seasons prior to his stay with Walsall.

The 5ft 3in talisman’s feet remain firmly planted on the ground however, with him determined to make the most of his first ever opportunity in the second tier of English football.

“My journey has been hard all the way from non-league football right up to the Championship now, but it’s proof that hard work pays off and I’m really delighted to be here,” he explained.

The Bolton faithful meanwhile will certainly be familiar with Oztumer, with him having scored a long-distance wonder strike in the Trotters’ 4-1 victory over Walsall in February 2017.

And with his keen eye for goal, the Greenwich-born playmaker is hungry to add to his goalscoring tally this coming season with the Whites.

“The Bolton fans can expect quick play, one and two touch exciting football from me, and hopefully another 40 yarder at Macron Stadium!

“I do seem to like scoring from distance – it’s not that I don’t like scoring tap-ins, I’ve just been lucky to have numerous opportunity to shoot from far out!

“Any goal is a goal though and they all count.”

He concluded: “I’m so glad that the move is done and dusted so early in the summer though – I’ve got another holiday booked now, so I can just relax in the knowledge that when I come back, I’m a Bolton Wanderers player and I can throw myself into pre-season.”

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