Erhun Oztumer pays tribute to Walsall after making Bolton move
Erhun Oztumer paid tribute to Walsall's staff and supporters after his exit from the club was confirmed.
The 27-year-old yesterday signed for Championship club Bolton, bringing to an end a two year stay with the Saddlers.
Oztumer finished top scorer in each of his seasons at the Banks's Stadium, netting a total of 32 goals in 93 appearances.
And the former Peterborough playmaker, who was released by Charlton at the age of 16 for being too small, thanked the Saddlers for providing the platform to prove himself in League One.
He said: “The Walsall fans were great for me and I owe them a lot. I had two fantastic years at the club but my aim was to play as high as I possibly could, so it was time to move on.
“I came to Walsall and wasn’t proven at League One level. It is only because they gave me the freedom to express myself on the ball that I was able to improve. The manager and the coaching staff were excellent and I have learned a lot. I’m ready to make that step up now."
Nicknamed the Wizard of Oz by supporters, Oztumer was also named players' player of the year in each of his two campaigns with the Saddlers.
Having now got his desired shot in the Championship, he is determined to show he has what it takes.
He added: “I get the motivation from people telling me I can’t do this, can’t do that. I enjoy proving people wrong. I know what I’m getting into.
"The Championship is going to be a big step up and I’ll be playing against big teams like Stoke City, West Brom and better players. But I think I’ll be playing alongside better players too and I will improve from that again.
“I’m really excited. It has been quite emotional because I started in non-league and people were telling me I’d never make it professionally, now I’m playing at Bolton Wanderers in the Championship. It’s incredible.
“I look around at the training ground, the stadium and I have never seen anything like it. I have gone the long way round but the size of the club – it has all been worth it. I can’t wait to get started."