Turkish international attacking midfielder Ozan Tufan joined Hull City in July 2022, a totemic signing to announce to new approach to squad building under new City owner Acun Illicali. He was introduced immediately to the heart of the Tigers’ midfield and scored a penalty on his debut that saw the Tigers swot aside Bristol City. As his fitness levels quickly grew in the opening weeks of the season Tufan established himself one of the division’s most skillful midfielders with a potency in front of goal, as proved at Turf Moor when he stormed through their defence and smote the opener in grand fashion. His first season saw occasional dips in form and he was used as both a starter and an impact substitute, linking the midfield and attack with good effect under new manager Liam Rosenior. When he scored two of City’s four goals in a tumultuous Good Friday 4-4 draw at Sunderland Tufan took his season tally to seven goals, the best haul of his career.
Ozan Tufan was born in Orhaneli, a small town in western Turkey 20 kilometres south of Bursa, and came through the ranks of local Superlig side Bursaspor. He made his senior debut for Bursaspor in August 2012, a Europa League tie against Finnish side KuPS – Ozan came on as a late substitute and scored a goal to round off a 6-0 victory. He made six senior appearances in the 2012/13 season, making his Superlig debut against Genclerbiligi in May 2013 and adding a further 13 first team appearances during the 2013/14 season.
Tufan became a first team regular for Bursaspor in the 2014/15 season making 46 senior appearances, scoring three goals and helping his side reach the Turkish Cup final, losing to Galatasaray in the June 2015 denouement. Three months later Tufan started the Super Kupa match against Galatasaray, the Turkish season-opening equivalent of the Charity Shield, but days later he transferred to Istanbul-based Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
Often used as a substitute in his first season at Fenerbahce, Tufan made 45 appearances and scored his first goal for the club in a November 2015 Europa League tie against Norwegian side Molde. He was an unused substitute in the 2016 Turkish Cup final that Fenerbahce lost 0-1 to Galatasaray – a second consecutive Cup Final defeat for Ozan against the Istanbul side. Tufan added 39 appearances and five goals during the 2016/17 season but injury and suspension limited him to 14 appearances and three goals in the 2017/18 season. Now out of the first team picture, Tufan joined Superlig rivals Alanyaspor on loan in January 2019 and made 17 appearances.
Ozan was rehabilitated by Fenerbahce in the 2019/20 season, making 34 appearances, scoring six goals and occasionally captaining the side. This form continued into the 2020/21 season when he added 41 appearances and six goals, prompting a loan move to Premier League side Watford at the start of the 2021/22 season. Amid stories of a lack of match fitness and the ever-changing array of managers employed by Watford, Tufan made only 9 senior appearances for the Hornets and returned to Fenerbahce in February 2022. He added a further 9 appearances in the latter weeks of the season, taking his tally over seven years at Fenerbahce to 182 appearances and 21 goals. He left Fenerbahce in June 2022 and was quickly snapped up by Hull City’s new owner Acun Illicali.
Tufan was part of Turkey’s international scene from the age of 17, playing twice for the Under-18 side and twice for the Under-19s during the 2012/13 season. After another ten matches for the Under-19s during the 2013/14 season Ozan made his senior debut in a series of May 2014 friendly matches against Kosovo (a match not fully recognised by FIFA), Ireland, Honduras and USA. He scored his first senior international goal in September 2014 against Denmark and was a first team regular for his country at the age of 19. He started three games for Turkey in the Euro 2016 Finals tournament and retained his place in the international first XI until October 2021 when he won his 66th cap in a 1-1 draw against Norway, the country he had scored his only international brace against seven months earlier. Tufan scored nine international goals for his country.
Date/Place of Birth: 23 March 1995, Orhaneli, Turkey
Hull City First Game: 30 July 2022, Bristol City H (Championship), 27 years, 129 days old
Hull City Final Game: [current player]
Bursaspor (2011-2015), Fenerbahce (2015-2022), Alanyaspor (2019, loan), Watford (2021-2022, loan), Hull City (2022-current)
Hull City Record
Career: 45 apps, 8 goalsOzan Tufan
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