Report: Watford Want Turkish Midfield Star Ozan Tufan

Juraj Kucka and Peter Etebo, two of Watford’s three new midfield signings, performed admirably well in the Club’s first match back in the Premier League. With Imran Louza also available following his £9 million arrival this summer, the Hornets look to have offset the problem posed by the contract situations regarding Nathaniel Chalobah and, more notably and likely to depart, Will Hughes. Nonetheless, the Club might still be interested in signing yet another midfield reinforcement. Reports from Turkey suggest Watford have identified their main target. 

Watford Supposedly Eyeing Move for Fenerbahce’s Star Midfielder

According to Ridvan Dilmen on Turkish television channel TRT Spor (and relayed by Fanatik.com.tr), Watford want Ozan Tufan. His future at Fenerbahce is unclear, so if the right offer comes in, there is no reason to suspect the Turkish giants will prevent a move away. 

He joined Fenerbahce for around £6 million from Bursaspor in 2015. The past two seasons, after spending four years as a rotational player or being out on loan, he has been a mainstay in Fenerbahce’s starting eleven. The 26-year-old has already made 63 international appearances for Turkey. He almost started his Premier League journey in 2018 until his transfer to Crystal Palace was called off by Fenerbahce not long before Tufan was set to fly to England.  

In the 2019/20 campaign, Tufan started 33 matches, wearing the captain’s armband on numerous occasions. He scored six goals and provided five assists. The following season, his numbers were very similar, appearing 37 times (making 32 starts), contributing six goals and eight assists.  

What He Would Offer if the Surprise Transfer Occurred

A transfer for Tufan would likely cost Watford a hefty fee, a move which funds would likely not be used for unless considerable cash came in for the services of Hughes. However, if Watford are to spend the money to bring in Tufan, they will have secured themselves a versatile midfielder who offers tremendous goal-scoring threat. 

As a 19-year-old with Bursaspor in the 2014/15 campaign, he scored three times and provided seven assists despite primarily playing as a defensive midfielder. He has gradually worked his way into more advanced midfield positions as time has passed, playing most of his matches nowadays as a number eight or number ten. 

Again, a transfer for Tufan does not seem probable unless other pieces move first. But, in the midfield, if the Hornets are to bring in another reinforcement, a creative, attacking-minded player such as Tufan would be the preference (with Lewis Ferguson, who was heavily linked with a move to Watford earlier in the summer transfer window, another similar option).  

With the transfer window closing in around two weeks, the Hornets do not have too much time to complete a deal. If Tufan signs, the Hornets will undoubtedly have an immediate starter. The funds, however, might not need to be spent on another midfielder, especially considering Domingos Quina could provide a useful attacking-midfield option and signing another center-back could be a better use for the money.  

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