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Newcastle United are set to go to loggerheads with fellow Premier League club Crystal Palace for the signing of Turkish striker Cenk Tosun from Besiktas, according to reports from the Daily Mail.
The 26-year old has been a prolific goal-scorer in the Turkish footballing scenes in recent times and has attracted serious interests from abroad, with both the Premier League clubs submitting official enquiries over the availability of Tosun before the transfer deadline.
Both the clubs have had a difficult start to the new campaign and will be looking to address some key issues before the transfer deadline on Thursday. With interest in Tosun high, here we take a closer look at what is he likely to offer to either clubs, if they sign him.
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.
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 52 goals and 11 assists for Besiktas in 122 games. Last season, he top-scored with 24 goals for the club and has already scored twice in four 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 19 times for Turkey, scoring 5 times.
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 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 acumen, is known for his smart movement, link-up and overall involvement in his team’s attacking play. Often, he drifts into wide areas, taking defenders along with him, opening spaces for his teammates. He himself 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 his ability to run with the ball at his feet and his clinical finishing that are the standout features of his gameplay.
There are few doubts over the abilities of Tosun and he has displayed in the past couple of seasons that he can be a leading marksman in Europe.
Both Newcastle United and Crystal Palace need reinforcements in the attack before the window closes. The Eagles have just Christian Benteke as the out-and-out striker in their ranks while Newcastle are considering the sale of last season’s top scorer Dwight Gayle which opens up a space in their ranks as well, despite the summer signing of Joselu.
Tosun has demonstrated all the necessary traits needed to cut it out in the Premier League and will be an excellent addition for both teams without a question. Now, it’s just a matter of who reaches the finish line first (in the deal)!