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THREE TO WATCH: WALSALL

20 January 2017

Take a look at some of the potential threats in the ranks of Saturday's opponents, Walsall F.C.

Erhun Oztumer - Midfield 

The midfielder is Walsall's leading goalscorer this campaign, with nine goals to his name.

Following a lengthy stay with the youth set up at Charlton Athletic, and a season with Fisher Athletic, Oztumer returned to Turkey and joined Manisaspor in 2008.

Despite featuring predominately for the youth team at Manisaspor,  in 2009 the midfielder moved to Sivasspor, who were also in the Turkish top flight and put pen to paper on his first professional contract.

Despite never playing for the first team during his time at Sivasspor, the midfielder had an impressive goal return for the reserve team and in 2011 Oztumer left Sivasspor to join Anadolu Üsküdar, in the fourth tier of Turkish football and sampled his first taste of regular first-team football.

Before the start of the 2012–13 season, Oztumer returned to England, joining Isthmian League side Dulwich Hamlet. He went on to score over 60 goals and helped Dulwich won promotion to the Isthmian League Premier Division.

In June 2014, the midfielder joined Peterborough United for an undisclosed fee and suffered an injury during pre-season that delayed his debut for the Posh until the start of October 2014.

The midfielder joined Walsall in the summer and scored on his debut in a 3–1 win over AFC Wimbledon.

Simeon Jackson - Striker 

The striker began his career with spells playing semi-professionally, before making his name with Rushden & Diamonds, who were in the Conference during his time with the club. His impressive goal scoring return caught the attention of Gillingham, with the striker making the step-up to League Two in 2008 and went on to score the club's winning goal in the 2009 play-off Final at Wembley.

In 2010 Jackson joined Norwich City, and was part of the side that won promotion to the Premier League. He fell out of favour at the club during the 2012–13 season, and opted to join German club Eintracht Braunschweig who were newly promoted to the Bundesliga, but returned to England citing that he needed regular game time.

Season long spells at Millwall, Coventry and Barnsley followed for the forward, who joined Blackburn Rovers in January 2016 on a short term deal, going on to make just shy of twenty appearances, before joining Walsall in the summer.

After scoring a brace on his debut for Walsall against AFC Wimbledon, the striker has added another three goals to take his tally for five this season, with his last goal coming against his former club, Millwall F.C, in October. 

The striker also has international experience, making just under fifty appearances for the Canadian national team. In 2011 the striker was shortlisted for the Canadian Player of the Year award and to date has scored six goals for his country. 

Amadou Bakayoko - Striker 

After beginning his youth career in Dutch football the striker move he moved to England in his mid-teens and was awarded a scholarship at Walsall. 

After prolific goalscoring at youth and reserve team level, Bakayoko was offered a one-year professional contract at Walsall in December 2013 and went on to make his professional debut in the April in  a defeat to Port Vale at Vale Park

During the opening months of the 2014/15 season, Bakayoko joined Conference Premier side Southport on a month's loan and scored on his debut during Southport's victory over Braintree Town. The striker's loan spell at Southport was followed by a brief spell on loan at both AFC Telford and Worcester.

He scored his first goals for Walsall during a hat-trick in an EFL Trophy tie against Grimsby Town back in August and progressed to score his first league goal in a 3–2 win over Shrewsbury Town in October.

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