Advertising

Erhun Oztumer hitting the heights at Walsall

Sport | Published:

Erhun Oztumer believes his impressive start to the season proves that he and Walsall are a match made in heaven.

The creative schemer has quickly become a fans' favourite at the Banks's Stadium with a string of impressive displays in the No.10 role.

Oztumer was snapped up in the summer on a free transfer from Peterborough and has quickly filled the void left following the departure of Romaine Sawyers.

Throughout his career, a lot has been made of Oztumer's height with the diminutive trickster standing at 5ft 3in tall.

And he revealed his size was a major factor in his move to Saddlers, with the 25-year-old admitting he had to join a team that was going to keep the ball on the floor.

"I think Walsall and me are the perfect match – 100 per cent," Oztumer said.

"This is the only club I wanted to sign for because I knew they try to play the right way.

"The style of play is exactly what I was looking for and the club needed a player like me so it was a perfect fit.

"Now I have been here for a few months and every day has been enjoyable.

Advertising

"As a group we have gelled straight away, the club is filled with nice people and good footballers.

"I feel like I put in some good performances in pre-season and I have taken that into the season. Now I just want to keep that going and keep getting goals and assists so we win more games."

Oztumer began his career at Charlton but was released by the Addicks while still a teenager due to his small stature.

But the midfielder said that setback spurred him on, with the Greenwich-born star believing his size is now an advantage.

Advertising

"When I was young I was released by Charlton and the way they spoke to me was like I would never make it due to my size," Oztumer continued.

"Back then I did have my doubts. But getting released was a good learning curve for me. It made me stronger. I had to adapt the way I played and I had to make my height a positive and I think I have done that.

"There are some disadvantages to being small but right now I think it is an advantage for me.

"I am at that stage where I know my strengths and weaknesses and now I just have to keep working hard to improve.

"If I can keep sharp and keep moving forward then I'll be fine."

Oztumer believes a lot of small players are often released too early by clubs.

"I think clubs do release players too quickly," he said.

"It's an easy way to tell someone they are not good enough.

"It's disappointing. I don't think it's fair on short players because short players are usually technically very good."

As well as his performances on the field, Oztumer has quickly become a favourite off the pitch as well due to the way he interacts with supporters on Twitter.

And the midfielder believes it's important to give something back to fans for the support they give.

"I sometimes hide after a defeat," Oztumer joked.

"But I do like to share my thoughts and thank fans for their support. They pay our wages and help us through games. In the 85th or 90th minute when things are tough, their noise and support is massive."

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News