Why Crystal Palace should avoid signing Ozan Tufan
According to claims from Turkish outlet Fotospor, Crystal Palace are interested in signing Fenerbahce midfielder Ozan Tufan, with the report claiming that the Eagles are currently keeping close tabs on the player.
However, if Palace are really keen to secure the services of the 24-year-old, they would need to beat off competition from German Bundesliga outfit Fortuna Dusseldorf and French side St. Etienne. (h/t Fotospor)
This is not the first time, though, that the Eagles have been credited with an interest in the Turkish international, with Football London revealing last year that the South Londoners, along with Fulham, were monitoring the player closely.
The 24-year-old rose to prominence in his homeland with his boyhood club Bursaspor but his career has failed to reach great heights following his move to heavyweights Fenerbahce back in 2015.
Tufan has never really managed to establish himself as an undisputed starter at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, although he still boasts of a decent tally of 103 appearances accumulated over the past four seasons.
However, he rediscovered his feet on loan at fellow Super Lig club Alanyaspor in the second half of the previous campaign and the defensive midfielder has hit the ground running at his parent club this term, earning rave reviews for his rich vein of form early in the ongoing season.
Ozan Tufan, who has 5 goals in 45 senior international appearances for Turkey, boasts of the versatility to play in defensive and box-to-box roles in the midfield, as well as on the right-hand side of the backline as a right-back, meaning that he has all the makings of a useful utility player.
To put things into perspective, Tufan’s ability to offer valuable cover in more than one position coupled with his return to form this season might have prompted Crystal Palace to revisit their interest in him.
However, one cannot help but wonder whether the Eagles really need to invest in another defensive midfielder in January or next summer, with manager Roy Hodgson already pretty well-stocked in that area of the pitch.
And it definitely won’t make much sense for them to look at the Turk as a right-back who could possibly be a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, given that the 24-year-old is at best a makeshift option in that role.
Palace splashed the cash to bring in James McCarthy from Everton this summer in a bid to add more depth to a midfield cavalry already consisting of James McArthur, Luka Milivojevic, Cheikhou Kouyate, Jeffrey Schlupp and Max Meyer, while Victor Camarasa was also signed on loan for the season.
Tufan is out of contract at Fenerbahce at the end of the 2019-20 season, which means that he would be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with any club in January.
To that end, the 24-year-old would certainly be a handsome addition to the ranks on the cheap but Palace need to aim for better players if they are to challenge for a top-ten finish in the Premier League.
With Wilfried Zaha’s future at Selhurst Park still up in the air and Christian Benteke struggling for goals, Hodgson might as well look to add more firepower to his attack in the upcoming transfer windows.
The Eagles already have enough competition for places in the middle of the park and if Hodgson is really keen to add more to his ranks, he should look to iron out a permanent deal for Victor Camarasa, given that the Spaniard offers a lot more than Tufan in terms of creativity and has a better all-round game.
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Suffice to say, Crystal Palace would dodge a bullet by dropping their interest in the Turk.