Few Turkish players have ascended to the pinnacle of European football like Hamit Altintop, who has won the Bundesliga and La Liga tophies with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid respectively during his football career. The midfielder as also been a Turkish Super Lig champion with Galatasaray and picked up 84 international caps and 7 goals for Turkey, including getting them to the Euro 2008 semifinals where they lost to Germany.
In an interview with Goal.com, the 35-year-old was asked about the differing plights of two of his countrymen plying their trade in European football - Cenk Tosun at Everton and Cengiz Ünder at AS Roma.
Tosun has found playing time hard to get under Sam Allardyce, and has received what sounds like undue criticism for his fitness and how he has been dealing with the cold weather this time of the year on Merseyside.
Altintop encouraged the striker to keep his head down, keep training and persevere.
“He has to be patient. He’s going through a tough time there right now, and despite the high salary he has been paid for, he does not play from the start.
”Cenk has made tremendous progress over the past two and a half years, and having Mario Gomez and Demba Ba as teammates or competitors has taught him a lot, his character and workload are great benefits for him.”
“I believe in his talent and its quality. He just has to be patient, he’ll get to know the league, speak better English, integrate into the new team, and then his talent and character will come into play.”
Which sounds like great advice for Tosun, and exactly what Toffees are saying too, in the fervent hopes that either Allardyce will finally see sense, or the door, and hopefully either option comes sooner than later.