Cenk Tosun has vowed to bring goals to Everton and show fans “the kind of player I am” after the striker completed his move from Besiktas on a four-and-a-half-year contract to the end of June 2022.
The 26-year-old Turkey international, capped 25 times for his country, revealed that the eagerness shown by manager Sam Allardyce and by the Club to secure his arrival at Goodison proved persuasive in his decision-making.
Strong, two-footed and a formidable goalscorer in his time in Turkey’s Super Lig – in 96 appearances for Besiktas since the start of 2014/15 he has scored 41 goals, more than any other player in the division in that period – Tosun has been described by the Blues boss as “strong mentally with a good pedigree”.
And he is determined to show Evertonians that he can replicate his form in the Premier League, having spearheaded Besiktas’s charge to successive domestic titles and into the knockout stages of this season’s Champions League.
“It feels great to be an Everton player,” Tosun told evertontv. “I’m really happy to be here and happy that everything is done. I’m really excited to play for Everton as soon as possible. Everton is a great club with a big history and a big culture and I’m looking forward to showing the fans the kind of player I am.
“I bring my skills here and everybody is going to see what kind of player I am. I believe I can be a good player in the Premier League for Everton.
“The Premier League is a strong league, I know that, so my own physical strength will help me. Also I can use both feet the same and I believe I am a good striker in the box.
“I’m really looking forward to training with my teammates and getting to know them and, of course, I want to play as soon as possible. The Tottenham game will be the first game I am available for and I’m very excited about it already.
“I’m really excited to work with my new teammates because Everton has really, really big names, big players. I’m excited to play with them and to learn from them as well, players like Wayne Rooney and the very good creative players we have here, too. They can help me score goals.
“I know the guys as I’ve always watched Everton’s games from Turkey, so I know a bit about the team already. I hope they can make a lot of assists for me!”
Tosun joined Besiktas in the summer of 2014 from fellow Turkish side Gaziantepspor where he had forged a reputation as one of his country’s most lethal forwards.
Tosun scored 20 league goals last season as Besiktas retained their Super Lig crown and scored a contender for Champions League goal of the season with a brilliant bicycle-kick finish past Benfica goalkeeper Ederson. He added: “The manager and the Club really wanted me very much and that is why I am here.
“Sam Allardyce was a big part of my decision. He said he really wanted me here and to feel that, of course, is another big reason to come to Everton.”
Allardyce made Tosun his No.1 target in January and he is pleased that the deal has been sealed early in the transfer window.
“This lad looks like he is strong mentally and has a good pedigree,” said the Blues manager.
“He is Turkey’s No.1 striker and has scored goals in the Champions League and the Turkish League but he is desperate to play here in the Premier League.
“He is an all-rounder, with good movement. He is two-footed, perhaps not the biggest but he’s very efficient in the air and in the box he gets good space to get his head on the ball.
“We looked at the qualities of the player, his talent and goalscoring, and his resilience, too. I do not think you can look any more than we have done and, for the price, he is the best in Europe at the moment.”
Tosun arrives at Everton one week after scoring on his farewell Besiktas appearance in a Turkish Cup tie – and after finding the net the eight times in 12 league starts this season.
He scored on his Besiktas debut in 2014 – a 1-0 victory over Mersin IY – and struck his first European goal in the same year to propel his side to a 1-0 Europa League win over Tottenham Hotspur.
Germany-born Tosun was snapped up by hometown club Eintracht Frankfurt aged five. He was a star of the Bundesliga club’s youth ranks, scoring 20 goals in 40 matches for Eintracht’s Under-19s.
But after making one first-team appearance for the German side he was prised to Turkey by Gaziantepspor where he made a lightning start, scoring six goals in his first six matches.
He ultimately scored 39 goals in 92 starts for the mid-table side and won his first Turkey cap in a World Cup qualifying match against Holland in October 2013.
Tosun represented Germany at every age group level from Under-16 to Under-21 – scoring in a 2-0 victory over England on one of his two Under-21 appearances – before pledging his allegiance to Turkey, the birthplace of both his parents.
He represented his country at the 2016 European Championship and, with eight goals from his 25 appearances, is Turkey’s first-choice striker.
Sam Allardyce says he is “delighted” to secure the capture of “one of Europe’s best strikers” after Everton completed a deal to sign Turkish superstar Cenk Tosun.
Allardyce quickly identified the purchase of a prolific striker as his priority for this January transfer window following his appointment as boss in November.
And 26-year-old Tosun fits the bill, having plundered 41 goals in 96 league appearances for Besiktas, and a further five in the Champions League for the powerhouse Turkish outfit.
Tosun scored 20 goals in last season’s Super Lig to help the Istanbul club retain the Turkish title and struck a glorious contender for Champions League goal of the season past then Benfica goalkeeper – and now Manchester City number one – Ederson.
He has continued to dazzle on the European scene this term, striking four group stage goals in the continent’s premier competition to help Besiktas reach the last-16 for the first time since 1987.
Allardyce has scouted the global market extensively and was thrilled to land his number one target – who has penned a deal committing him to Goodison Park until the end of June 2022.
“It is a massive boost for us all,” said Allardyce. “He is Turkey’s number one striker and has scored goals in the Champions League and the Turkish League. I don’t think you can look any more than we have done and, for the price, this is the best in Europe at the moment.
“We could not have carried out any more research – we have looked at the player’s talent and goal scoring ability, which is fantastic.
“And this lad looks like he is resilient and strong mentally, too. He has a good pedigree and is another player who is desperate to play in the Premier League.
“He is an all-rounder, with good movement. He is two-footed, not the biggest but efficient in the air and in the box – he gets good space to get his head on the ball. We will try to break him in gently – but I do not think you can break anyone in gently in January, it is a case of get in, get your sleeves rolled up and get on with it!”
Allardyce tightened up Everton defensively almost overnight after taking charge. The Blues conceded only two goals in the 63-year-old's first seven matches at the helm – winning four and drawing three of those games.
Everton hit the net 10 times in Allardyce’s opening five fixtures – but the goals have dried up recently, with the Toffees scoring only one in their past four outings.
And the manager underlined the significance of getting the deal for 25-cap Turkey forward Tosun tied up at the earliest possible opportunity.
“Securing the player is the most important thing because it has been the Club’s biggest area of concern, the number of goals we are capable of getting,” said Allardyce.
“I am delighted the Club have been able to get the deal over the line and think that, with Cenk’s track record, his age and his ability, hopefully, he will be the player to help us score more goals.
“I think that with his pedigree, he can make that impact we need.
“We haven’t got many players in that elite block of age in our squad, so hopefully he will come to the Club and show he is good value for money. If he is successful by scoring goals for us then it will be an exceptional deal that we have done.”