Yaya Toure had it all.
In his rampaging heyday, the Manchester City legend was all-but unstoppable, motoring over the Etihad turf like some ancient, mythical beast with the torso of a bull and the graceful hind-quarters of a gazelle.
He could pass the ball with precision, turn defence into attack in a split-second and, especially during the early days of the Manuel Pellegrini era, find the back of the net on an almost weekly basis.
Ozan Tufan might be one of the top midfield talents in Turkish football right now but, despite a dramatic upturn in form over the last 12 months or so, he still has a long way to go before he can live up to those rather unhelpful comparisons with a bonafide Premier League great.
“The world will soon have a central midfielder on the level of Yaya Toure on their hands,” his former Fenerbahce coach Vitor Pereira once quipped.
If reports are to believed, Tufan might soon be handed a chance to prove that those comparisons are not a million miles wide of the mark. Fotospor reports that Leicester City and Crystal Palace, as well as Sevilla, are interested in a man who Fenerbahce value at a cool £17 million.
Tufan’s entire career is a story of persistence, of a man who has painstakingly rebuilt his reputation after hitting ‘rock-bottom’ following his £7 million move to the Instanbul giants in 2015.
Speaking to HITC, Turkish football expert Kaan Bayazit pointed out that, not so long ago, Fenerbahce were willing to let Tufan join bitter rivals Besiktas for free. That is how far he had fallen.
But, after a transformative loan spell at Alanyaspor, the 24-year-old returned to Fener with a point to prove. And, after arguably the most impressive season of his career, the doubters are now conspicuous by their absence.
Having said that, Palace and Leicester fans are probably better off putting those Toure comparisons to the back of their mind.
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