The Turk­ish Messi was a vic­tim of cut­backs

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Sport - By Alan Swann alan.swann@jpress.co.uk @PTAlanSwann

Erhun Oz­tumer has con­firmed he quit Posh in the sum­mer after the club tried to cut his wages. Oz­tumer re­turns to the ABAX Sta­di­umwith­Wal­sallthis Satur­day for the first time since his sur­prise de­par­ture for last sea­son’s League One play-off semi-fi­nal­ists.

The 25 year-old mid­fielder be­came a firm fans’ favourite dur­ing his two-year stint at Posh - he was la­belled the Turk­ishMessi- buthede­cided hecouldn’t ac­cept apay-cut to stay for a third sea­son.

When Oz­tumer signed for Posh from non-league Dul­wichHam­letinthe­sum­merof 2014hewashande­datwo-year con­tract with the club hav­ing the op­tion of a third sea­son.

Posh duly made Oz­tumer an of­fer, but not one that im­pressed the player or his rep­re­sen­ta­tives.

“I loved it for two sea­sons at Posh,” Oz­tumer ad­mit­ted. “I had­my­fair share of ups and downs, but I will al­ways be grate­ful to the club for giv­ing meanop­por­tu­ni­tyintheFoot­ball League and for the man­agers and the staff for giv­ing metheop­por­tu­ni­ty­to­ex­press my­self.

“I had a deal in place which gave the club the op­tion of a third year, but a pay­cut wasn’t some­thingI­ex­pecte­dor­wanted.

“It was a shame, but we de­cided to part ways and I was de­lighted to be able to sign for an­other top League One club like Wal­sall.

“Like Posh they play in a way that suits my game and I’ve loved every minute of it with them so far.

“The­fans have taken to me at Wal­sall as they did at Posh. I have some great mem­o­ries from great games at Posh and if I do man­age to score against them I won’t be cel­e­brat­ing.

“I’ll make that ges­ture for the sup­port­ers. I have a lot of re­spect and grat­i­tude for the way they treated me.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to com­ing back.

“Ob­vi­ously I want to win the game, but suc­cess for both clubs this sea­son would suit me.

“Wal­sall en­joyed an out­stand­ing sea­son last sea­son, but we’ve had to re-build the team.

“It’s just started to come­to­gether for us in re­cent matches.

“They play me in the hole just be­hind two strik­ers or in mid­field and it’s gone re­ally well.

“I’mre­ally enoy­ingmy­foot­ball. I’ve man­aged to score a few goals and win some man- Posh 8 4 11 of-the-match awards just like I used to at Posh!”

Oz­tumer scored seven goals in 57 ap­pear­ances (13 as a sub­sti­tute) for Posh and was a star player dur­ing a pur­ple patch of form un­der for­mer man­ager Gra­ham West­ley last sea­son.

Oz­tumer was orig­i­nally brought into the side last sea­son by cur­rent Posh boss Grant McCann hav­ing been os­tra­cized by an­other for­mer man­ager, Dave Robert­son.

McCann­said:“We­knowall about Erhun’s abil­ity and the threat he poses.

“He is one of sev­eral good play­ers Wal­sall pos­sess and we will have to watch him care­fully.

“It was Erhun’s de­ci­sion to leave an­dit wa­sone­he­wasen­ti­tled to make after he turned down our con­tract of­fer.

“There are no hard feel­ings. These things hap­pen all the time in foot­ball.”

Erhun Oz­tumer cel­e­brates a goal for Posh.

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