The Turkish Messi was a victim of cutbacks
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.