TheFA.com continues to look at some of the most dangerous players in Senol Gunes
TheFA.com continues to look at some of the most dangerous players in Senol Gunes' Turkey squad...
He's been dubbed by some as the Turkish Shevchenko, by others as Turkey's answer to Wayne Rooney and he could be the secret weapon that severely damages England's hopes of advancing to next year's Euro 2004 finals on Saturday.
Sven Goran Eriksson will certainly be aware of the potential danger of 21-year-old Fenerbahce striker Tuncay Sanli who may not make the starting line-up in front of his own fans but has been receiving rave reviews after a string of electrifying displays.
Now, he seems certain to be used as a super-sub if his country needs a fresh injection of talent late in the game in Istanbul in the race for an automatic place at Euro 2004.
Promoted to the full Turkish squad after several impressive performances at under-21 level, not least against England at Newcastle earlier this year, Tuncay has everything a great striker needs: balance, change of pace, strong running and, most crucial of all, the art of goalscoring.
All these qualities were demonstrated in the semifinal of this summer's Confederations Cup against host nation France when Tuncay unleashed a breathtaking right-foot volley that fizzed into the net after he had burst into the tiniest of spaces.
Afterwards, French coach Jacques Santini, who isn't exactly short of a quality striker or two of his own, purred in appreciation of the talents of a player who seems certain eventually to step into the international shoes of his ageing hero, Hakan Sukur.
"I didn't know too much about him but I must say, he looks a very dangerous player indeed for one so young," said Santini. "Certainly with more experience he looks a player of the future."
Tuncay, who played 75 minutes of the recent friendly against the Republic of Ireland, began his career with Sakaryaspor in the Turkish second division - coincidentally where Hakan Sukur started his - and is clearly a man in a hurry.
Sixteen goals were netted in his first season at Fenerbahce and he is already learning English and Italian, with ambitions of playing in the Premier League or Serie A when his contract expires next year, following in the footsteps of team-mates like Alpay and Inter Milan's Emre.
He also appears to be a coach's dream, a model professional who neither drinks nor smokes and lives with his parents in a quiet suburb of Istanbul. Turkish coach Senol Gunes has clearly unearthed another gem, one who will need careful watching on Saturday if sent on to unleash his talents on Sven's men.
by Andrew Warshaw