MATCH PREVIEW: No regrets about losing the Turkish Messi

Posh manager Grant McCann (right) enjoys a celebration at Oldham last season with his players including Erhun Oztumer (10).
Posh manager Grant McCann (right) enjoys a celebration at Oldham last season with his players including Erhun Oztumer (10).
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Peterborough United manager Grant McCann insists he has no regrets over the departure of midfield wizard Erhun Oztumer last summer.

Oztumer will be lying in wait for his former club on Saturday (February 18) when Posh travel to the Banks’s Stadium for a League One fixture against Walsall.

Erhun Oztumer (right) during Walsall's 1-1 draw at Posh in September.

Erhun Oztumer (right) during Walsall's 1-1 draw at Posh in September.

Oztumer is having a stellar season for the Saddlers, scoring 12 League One goals for a team sitting in mid-table.

No-one at Posh has scored more than seven League One goals this season.

But McCann said: “I’m not at all suprised Erhun is having a great season.

“He’s a very good player who has always had goals in him. I played him in my first game as manager at Oldham last season because I rated him highly and he scored in that match.

Erhin Oztumer (left of bunch) celebrates a goal for Posh at Oldham last season.

Erhin Oztumer (left of bunch) celebrates a goal for Posh at Oldham last season.

“It wasn’t a case of me not wanting Erhun. He wanted to leave.

“We offered him a good contract, but he turned it down. His decision to leave us was based on finances.

“But there are no hard feelings between us. These things happen in football.”

Oztumer’s camp claimed last summer Posh had reneged on a contract offer after he’d completed two seasons at the ABAX Stadium.

It was widely reported when Oztumer initially signed for Posh from non-league Dulwich Hamlet in June 2014, he was offered a two­ year deal with a one­ year option which would generate a 66% pay rise if taken up.

Posh admitted to altering the terms of that offer to a smaller wage increase, but for two years rather than one.

This enabled Oztumer to leave on a free transfer.

Oztumer returned to the ABAX Stadium for a League One game in September which ended 1-1.

He was quiet in that match, but Walsall fans have latched onto his long-time nickname of ‘the Turkish Messi’.

“It’s been a match made in heaven for me at Walsall,” Oztumer (25) stated.

“I will always be grateful to Posh for giving me the chance in the Football League and for a happy two seasons, but I settled in quickly at Walsall.

“The way they play suits me. It’s a passing style in a quick tempo and I have been in the form of my life.”

Oztumer scored seven goals in 57 appearances for Posh.