Edin Terzic, Sebastian Kehl praise Salih Özcan after strong debut performance

Salih Özcan with Jude Bellingham after the game (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images)
Salih Özcan with Jude Bellingham after the game (Photo by RONNY HARTMANN/AFP via Getty Images) /

Edin Terzic and Sebastian Kehl both heaped praise on Salih Özcan after the defensive midfielder delivered an impressive performance on his Borussia Dortmund debut.

Salih Özcan finally made his Borussia Dortmund debut on Saturday after recovering from the injury that saw him miss the majority of pre-season. And the Turkish international made an instant impression, putting in an assertive display in the middle of the park in the win over Hertha BSC.

Özcan’s presence added some much needed control to Borussia Dortmund’s game. The defensive midfielder did all the dirty work in midfield, allowing the forward players to play their natural game. And to top it off, he also set up what proved to be the winning goal in the first half with a well placed cross for Anthony Modeste.

Edin Terzic was full of praise of Özcan after the game, highlighting the 24 year old’s ability to play without any fuss and help his teammates shine.

"“Salih delivered an excellent performance because he was just himself. Football doesn’t always have to be sexy, it’s about doing the important things on the pitch. And that is what he does. He just likes to be there for the others, he’s the one who keeps the others’ backs free so they can shine.”"

Former Borussia Dortmund midfielder and current sporting director Sebastian Kehl also said that Özcan stood out on his debut. In an interview with Ruhr Nachrichten, Kehl said: “I told him personally after the game as well: that was a very good start.”

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Borussia Dortmund signed Salih Özcan from FC Köln this summer for a cut-price fee of just six million euros. He suffered an injury during pre-season and had to endure a long wait to make his debut. But his chance finally arrived on Saturday. And if his performance against Hertha BSC is anything to go by, he could prove to be one of the biggest bargain buys of the summer.