Tyro Cenk happy to play for Turkey amid a rapid rise from Bundesliga to Turkey

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Brendan Taylor

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  • Tyro Cenk happy to play for Turkey amid a rapid rise from Bundesliga to Turkey

Tyro Cenk happy to play for Turkey amid a rapid rise from Bundesliga to Turkey

Turkish starlet Tyro Cenk is currently preparing to make his international debut for the Turkish national side and his rise has been meteoric indeed. From a Bundesliga reserve, Cenk has turned into one of the best strikers in the Turkish League and he has now set his eyes on becoming the next Hakan Şükür.

The 19-year old has been setting the standard for new strikers in the Turkish Super League since his move form Eintracht Frankfurt to Gaziantepspor this January. Since his arrival, the youngster has scored 8 goals in 8 games for Gaziantepspor. From a reserve player at Frankfurt to a star in the making at Gaziantepspor, the youngster is now ready to become a Turkish international as Turkey take on Austria in a very crucial encounter of the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier.

A story of choice

The youngster was born and grew in Germany and even represented Germany till the Under-21 level. Turkish manager Guus Hiddink has been fast-tracking his progress and it was only a matter of time for the 19-year old to become a Turkish international. Although it was a difficult choice for Cenk Tosun but after meeting with Guus Hiddink and assistant Oguz Cetin at Istanbul and the youngster says that Hiddink had a big impact on his decision and after consulting with a few people, Tosun decided to play for Turkey.  After making the decision, he called Rainer Adrion, the German Under-21 coach and informed him of his decision.

Turkish legend Hakan Şükür retired in 2007 and since then, Turkish football has longed for an out and out striker. With 8 goals in as many games, it seems that Cenk might fit the bill. In the January transfer window, Cenk rejected a move to Galatasaray as he feared that he may become a bit-part player so he joined Gaziantepspor. In his first match for Gaziantepspor, Cenk scored 2 goals against Galatasaray as Gaziantepspor beat Galatasaray 3-1 in the Turkish Cup. Powerful, skilful and being able to play with both feet, Cenk has been a daunting prospect for the Super Lig defences. Since his arrival, Gaziantepspor have won all four games and Tosun has scored a brace in two consecutive games in victories over reigning champions Bursaspor and Eskişehirspor.

A beacon at international fronts

The Turks have failed to score in their last four games and it is a problem that has given manager Guus Hiddink a lot of headaches. Tosun’s inclusion in the squad has now given the Turkish side some serious hope of solving this issue – an issue that may well jeopardize Turkey’s ambitions of qualifying for the European Championship in Ukraine. Tosun is also pretty confident that he will rise to the occasion and says that he is not under any pressure at all. While talking to the media, the young striker said, “To be honest I don’t (high expectations). Gaziantepspor had problems in attack before signing me, a situation similar to our problem with the national team. I have confidence in myself after what I achieved for my club.”

Currently, Turkey are in fourth place in the qualifying group and are 4 points behind leaders Germany. Although everything is up for grabs but from a realistic point of view, Turkey should still be able to take 2nd place if they manage to start to winning ways. Perhaps, signing Gaziantepspor was a turning point for ‘Tyro’ so more of the same can be expected from the youngster when he makes his first appearance for the Turkish side against Austria.

Comparisons have already been drawn to former Turkish striker Hakan Şükür but only time will tell if Tyro can step into the big stage. His stats at Gaziantepspor suggest that he has the making of a great striker so let’s see if he can replicate his domestic for to the Turkish national side.


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