Sunderland have had their fair share of players that have come and gone from the Stadium of Light over the years, with the club now playing their football in League One.
It’s been a frustrating few seasons for the Stadium of Light faithful, who have seen their side struggle in their efforts to win promotion back into the Championship.
One of those that spent two years with the club during their time in League One was defender Alim Öztürk, who signed for the club back in 2018.
The Turkish defender had previously been on the books with the likes of Heart of Midlothian and Boluspor earlier in his career, but made the move to the Stadium of Light in 2018, and would have been hoping he can play his part in the club’s promotion bid from the third-tier of English football.
Öztürk made 20 appearances in all competitions in his first season with the club, which ended in frustration, as Sunderland missed out on promotion back into the Championship at the first time of asking.
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The Black Cats were beaten by Charlton Athletic in the League One play-off final at Wembley, which condemned Sunderland to another season in the third-tier.
Öztürk made 25 appearances in the 2019/20 season, but it was another season of frustration, as the defender struggled for a consistent run in the starting XI due to injuries, which saw him make 20 league starts for the Black Cats.
Sunderland finished eighth in the League One table in that season, as they found a positive run of results hard to come by under the management of Phil Parkinson.
That season proved to be Öztürk’s last for the club, as he departed at the end of the 2019/20 season when his contract reached a conclusion.
The defender went on to sign for Turkish side Ümraniyespor, and has since made 21 appearances in total for them, as they look to challenge for promotion into the Super Lig.
They’re currently sat 11th in the TFF First League table, and Öztürk has caught the eye with some strong performances for them this term. That form hasn’t gone unnoticed though, with Öztürk’s impressive showings earning him a call-up to the Turkish senior side for their recent European Championship qualifiers.
Footage emerged of Öztürk reacting to the news of his international call-up, and it’s certain to raise a smile amongst plenty of Sunderland supporters.
Öztürk didn’t feature for them in their recent matches against Latvia, Norway and Netherlands though, and he’ll be hoping he can impress once again for Ümraniyespor when they return to action Bursaspor on Sunday.