By Danny Wright
Nottingham Forest are one of four clubs in the race to sign Walsall midfielder Erhun Oztumer, according to a report.
News outlet HITC claims that Bristol City, Bolton and Sheffield United are also interested in the 25-year-old who has been dubbed by Walsall fans as the ‘Turkish Messi’ due to his height and style of play.
Standing at five foot and three inches tall, Oztumer has wowed the Banks’s Stadium faithful this season by scoring a number of brilliant goals which led him to being named in the League One team of the season.
It is understood that Forest see the midfielder as a player that can bring goals to their side after finding the net 15 times in 41 league appearances for the Saddlers this term.
He is also a creator of goals, having supplied seven assists to his teammates in all competitions in what has been a brilliant debut campaign in the Black Country since his arrival from Peterborough last summer.
In fewer games, Oztumer has already scored more than double the number of goals he had ever scored for the Posh and Walsall failed to win any of their five league games in which the 25-year-old was absent.
Football Insider Verdict
Walsall are a pretty average side in League One but Oztumer has really put the club on the map this season, much like now-Barnsley striker Tom Bradshaw did in his time at the Banks’s. He’s a player with a low centre of gravity which means he’s great on the ball but also has the ability to ghost into the opposition penalty area and grab a goal – much like Barcelona star Lionel Messi. This would be a good deal for Forest to pursue because they’ve lacked in goals this season. Mark Warburton has a good knowledge of League One so he is already in a good position to launch a raid of Walsall for their main man.
In other Nottingham Forest news, Evangelos Marinakis is likely to get approval for his takeover of the East Midlands club.