Sunderland have started the ball rolling on thier summer transfer extravaganza by bringing in Turkish centre half, Alim Ozturk. Jack Ross said: “He is someone who I know – I worked with him a few years ago at Hearts. He is a player who is yet to reach his full potential, but this opportunity here gives him the chance to do that. He is a really good player and he will be able to cope with the physical demands of this league. He is really comfortable on the ball and I think the supporters will see that. He is excited by the opportunity to come here and he wants to do well so that fits perfectly in to what we are trying to do here moving forward.”
In other good news, Brighton have taken Jason Steele off our hands! Seagulls boss Chris Hughton said: "We're delighted to secure the services of Jason, a goalkeeper that brings a wealth of experience, having played almost 300 games at senior level."
Here's some craic about Ozturk... Some players have stands named after them, others have streets. There have been grown men who have had faces of players tattooed on their legs. Generations of children were lost to names like Keegan in the post 92 woodwork amnesty. No such frivolity for Alim Ozturk. A worldy from just past the halfway line against Hearts’ local rivals, Hibs, saw the introduction of a beer called 40 yard screamer. A player revered to the extent that he walked away laden with awards that 2014/15 season including being named in the Championship team of the year. Hailing from Holland with Turkish parents, Alim Ozturk is a 6ft3 defender who can crack a ball. Something of a free kick specialist and scorer of goals which will remind us of McNair.
It's officially time to start obsessing about the season ahead as the EFL fixtures are released. Most would be hoping for an easy start to life in League One and the fixture computer has churned out a lunchtime kick-off against Charlton. Jack Ross doesn't mind though: “Whatever comes will be exciting for me. It’s a totally new challenge, but as a whole club we have to understand we’re a League One club, and that becomes a reality when the fixtures come out. There’s probably a freshness with that, though, and although it’s not where the supporters ideally want to be right now, they will be going to stadiums they’ve not been to before. In terms of who or where, I’m not bothered where we go because we have to play every team twice at some stage.”
In other news it looks like another horse has entered the race to sign Northern Ireland midfielder Paddy McNair. McNair was thought to be heading to Teeside with Boro having a bid accepted but it is believed freshly relegated Stoke are looking to lodge a bid. Time will tell on where Paddy ends up but it's nailed on it wont be here. It's always nice when a bidding war breaks out though.