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Walsall's Erhun Oztumer makes the PFA League One TOTY for the second year running

Wednesday 18th April 2018

Each year towards a season’s end the Professional Footballers’ Association, AKA the PFA, decides the best XI from each league in England. In League One’s latest edition, one man has appeared for a second consecutive year. Walsall midfielder Erhun Oztumer.

Last season, Greenwich-born Oztumer, who is of Turkish-Cypriot descent, signed with Walsall after his contract ended with Peterborough United. His first campaign with the Sadlers made him an instant hit with the fans. He bagged 15 goals in 41 League One games.

Now currently in his final year of a two-year contract, the 5’3 playmaker has already equalled his tally from last season. There are still four games left and Oztumer will be aiming to go at least one better this time around.

Walsall are hovering above relegation by just two points. Oztumer will have motivation to save his team from the drop, as well as personal goals.

An ex-Walsall player was also chosen in League One's Team of the Year. Will Grigg isn't a surprise selection as the Wigan striker has smashed in 18 League goals. He even helped the Latics knock Manchester City out of the FA Cup. The Northern Irish international's career at the Saddlers started in 2008. He stayed six years before moving on.

With Walsall struggling at present, many fans believe Oztumer will leave this summer. He's proven to be a quality player. Some consider him inconsistent, though, which may scare off potential buyers.

Many League One, or perhaps even Championship, clubs won’t be put off by Oztumer's fluctuating form. They’ll review his season as a whole. Departure from the Bescot Stadium looks likely due to his high ambitions and wage demands. Walsall may not meet his needs.

After appearing in League One’s TOTY for the second successive year, there is undoubtedly going to be interest from bigger sides. Oztumer's exposure will be at the maximum this summer. It would be interesting to see how he performs at a higher level.

If Walsall can persuade Oztumer to extend his contract, it would prove the best piece of business the club will complete heading into next season. Without him, the Sadlers would need to be clever in the transfer window to find his replacement. 

Oztumer’s low-centre gravity movements allow him to ease into space. He is also able to execute precision passing towards the final third, contributing to assists. Also, when in front of goal, he has the great ability to find the net. Those attributes will definitely attract other clubs.

Oztumer is in League One's PFA Team of the Year for many reasons. Earning a place two years in a row is no coincidence. It shows the midfielder's talent and capabilities. 

It won’t be a surprise if Erhun Oztumer leaves Walsall this summer. One key question remains, however: where will he end up?

Jamie Kynaston

For my sins, I'm a season ticket holder at Stoke City, I have been proud to watch them for over 20 years. I follow most of the UK leagues and the major European ones too, and I've been told that I talk way too much about football.

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