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Hodgson: Tosun ready to start against Arsenal

10 January 2020

Roy Hodgson spoke immediately after Crystal Palace confirmed the loan signing of forward Cenk Tosun this afternoon, revealing the Turkey international is in contention to make the squad against Arsenal tomorrow and that he is fit and ready to start Premier League matches.

Hodgson said that Tosun is injury free and added: "If I choose him tomorrow I don’t have any doubts he’ll be ready for the task.

"He is in contention to be in the squad. I’m very grateful to Everton and Crystal Palace for getting that done so quickly to make him available because we still have eight players unavailable and that's a lot of players not to be able to even consider. It’s great to have someone like him which I think will boost everybody, not just the players and people like myself and the coaching staff and the Chairman who's put out a statement, it will also boost the fans.

"He was very well received by the players in a very light session today. He’s full of enthusiasm because he’s desperate to get on the field to show what he can do, especially with the Euros coming up. As Turkey’s top scorer, he feels that he needs to get some game time to make sure he's hitting the ground running for the Euros this summer."

Asked to elaborate on Tosun's strengths, Hodgson said: "Most importantly he’s a goalscorer, that’s why he was signed. He’s a hardworking type of goalscorer as well, so he's not a player who is not interested in helping the team to work in other areas of the game. But of course the reason we are signing him and hoping to see a lot from him will be in the area scoring goals. That's an area we’ve been trying to improve for a long time now.

"As long ago as two years now when we were looking to improve our striking force, Cenk’s name came up and was quite heavily scouted by the club. There was a serious interest in us signing him but at the time we faced competition from Everton and Everton won the race for his signature.

"So it’s nice now to get a second opportunity, especially at a time when we are desperately in need of improving our striking force. We’re very pleased to have him with us because we feel we know him, we feel we know what he can do and what qualities he's going to bring. To some extent we feel he could have been a part of our club much earlier.

"I’m not in the interest of padding out the squad. We are actually short of players in the central attacking areas. We're adding someone we need to be there and will provide competition and is more than capable of being the first name on the teamsheet. No one that we sign this window will be there to pad out the squad."

You can read more on Tosun's arrival by clicking here now.

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