Turkish forward Tuncay Şanlı bolsters FC Pune City’s attacking options

Turkish forward Tuncay Şanlı bolsters FC Pune City’s attacking options

The past few weeks have been quite eventful for FC Pune City (FCPC). Turkish attacker Tuncay Şanlı is the latest to join their list of international stars. The ex-Middlesborough player joins the likes of James Bailey, Didier Zokora, Yendrick Ruiz, Steve Simonsen, Nick Shorey and marquee signing Adrian Mutu for this season.

Tuncay started his professional football career with Turkish club Sakaryaspor. But it was Süper Lig side Fenerbahçe that helped him shape up a stellar career – especially his famous hat-trick against Manchester United in the 2004-05 UEFA Champions League season. Thereafter, he dazzled English Premier League fans with stints at Middlesborough, Stoke City and a loan spell at Bolton Wanderers. He comes to FC Pune City from Qatar Stars League side Umm Salal, where he notched 11 goals in 26 appearances. His goals for the Turkey national team stands at 22, second only to Hakan Şükür (51).

Adept at setting up plays, this Turk should form a formidable partnership with Romanian powerhouse Adrian Mutu. The Hrithik Roshan co-owned side has also lapped up Ivorian midfielder Didier Zokora who has plied his trade in the EPL, La Liga and Süper Lig among other top leagues. Ivory Coast’s most capped player, Zokora, bring bags of experience as well as the handful ability to play in midfield as well as defence.

The ‘foreign season’ for FCPC began a month ago with the signing of Yendrick Ruiz. Brother of 2014 World Cupper Bryan Ruiz, expectations are high from the attacker. After all, his tally for Primera División side Herediano reads as 43 goals out of 100 appearances.

Then came the signings of British footballers Steve Simonsen and Nick Shorey. A worthy left-back and a tactful defensive midfielder, Shorey has stood tall against several teams on the Premier League circuit. He endeared himself to the Reading faithful after spending 9 years with the club. Meanwhile, Steve Simonsen comes to the Maharashtra based side after a long career in the Premier League and Championship circuits. The seasoned goalkeeper has played for top sides like Everton, Stoke City and Scottish club Glasgow Rangers.

Also a part of FC Pune City is James Bailey, a British midfielder who has been a part of clubs such as Coventry City and Derby County. His stint at Derby is filled with 64 appearances, with a few impressive seasons for the Rams. Together, they join forces with their Indian counterparts for the season beginning this October.


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