Hull City finished in 19th position on the points table of the 2021-22 EFL Championship season having been promoted as EFL League One Champions in 2020-21. They earned 51 points throughout the campaign. While the Tigers’ defence, which conceded 54 goals, was less leaky than many teams that finished in the bottom half, their attack was the second-worst in the entire division, having scored only 41 times. Barnsley were the only team to score less than Hull last season. If the East Yorkshire team are to improve in their second season, they will need to reinforce their attack. One man who could aid Hull City’s attack is Turkish player, Ozan Tufan.
Tufan joined Watford on loan in the summer of 2021 and made seven appearances for them in the 2021-22 Premier League season before his loan deal expired in the January transfer window of 2022. He played for 335 minutes for the Hornets. Tufan was not highly involved in the build-up play for Watford as he averaged only 26.4 pass attempts per 90 at a measly accuracy of 76.85%, ranking him in the bottom quintile among midfielders for both categories. However, the Turkish midfielder was ranked above average when it came to ball progression as he attempted close to five passes into the final third per 90 at an accuracy of 80%. He put himself in the upper quintile for smart passes per 90, with 0.98 to his name.
Tufan attempted less than eight defensive actions per 90 at a success rate of 65.63%. He also attempted only 4.65 defensive duels per 90 and won just 10.53% of them. The 27-year-old ranked in the bottom quintile for each of the above categories among midfielders. However, he did attempt more than three aerial duels per 90 and close to five loose balls per 90, putting him in the 80th and 93rd percentiles, respectively. The Turkish midfielder committed 2.2 fouls per 90, showing his fiery temperament despite not being booked while he was on the pitch.
As shown in the above heat map, Tufan was mostly active in the centre circle of midfield as well as the area just outside it. With the ball at his feet, Tufan completed 11 progressive passes, 13 balls into the attacking third and seven progressive carries during his limited playtime. He also worked hard off the ball, attempting 77 pressures, six tackles and interceptions, five blocks and four clearances.
Tufan received 14 progressive passes (3.78 per 90) when he was on the pitch, as seen from the above visual. Most of his pass receive locations came in the midfield and the attacking third, with two of them coming from inside the opponents’ penalty area.
Ozan Tufan looks set to join Hull City this summer and judging by the half-season he had at Watford, he would perform better than the vast majority of the midfielders in the division, He could be the ideal partner to Keane Lewis-Potter should the Englishman not leave Hull this summer.