Recruiting coup for Adelaide United as Reds sign Turkish centre-back Ersam Gulum for A-League season

Ersan Gulum (left) vies with Todor Yanchev a UEFA Europa
League Group L match for Besiktas against CSK Sofia in

TOWERING Turkish international Ersam Gülüm has signed
a one-year deal to become a key element of new Adelaide
United coach Marco Kurz’s rebuild at the Reds.

The 30-year-old Australian-born Turkish international
centre-back has penned a season-long loan deal and is expected
to land in Adelaide by the weekend.

“I am very happy to have signed for Adelaide United and cannot
wait to get started,” Gülüm said.

“I’ve heard great things about the city and I’m really looking
forward to working in a professional environment under a
strong, European manager, like Marco (Kurz).

“I’m joining Adelaide with the ambition of being successful and
I have every intention of making sure that happens.

“Australian football has given me so much, I’m here to give
back to it by working very hard every day in training.”

Gülüm is contracted to China’s Hebei China Fortune.

His former club, Turkish giant Besiktas, where he was skipper,
earned $10.2 million for his transfer to Hebei in 2016, five
years after he was sold for $3 million by Turkey’s Adanaspor.

He returned to Besiktas on loan this year before Adelaide
landed the 185cm Melbourne-born stopper, who played two matches
for the Olyroos in 2007.

The left-sided central defender was caught up in a tug of war
between ex-Socceroos coaches Holger Osieck and Guus Hiddink in

But Dutchman Hiddink who had led Australia to its most
successful FIFA World Cup campaign — a second round showing in
Germany in 2006 — managed to pry Gülüm from Australia’s
clutches to play for Turkey.

Gülüm made his debut for Turkey in 2013 in a 2-0 win over
Romania before representing the 2002 FIFA World Cup
semi-finalist seven times.

Kurz was ecstatic with the first major signing of his two-year
United tenure, revealing he had tracked Gülüm’s impressive
career from Germany.

“Gülüm is an experienced player who’s established himself in
Turkey, where he’s captained the club and is clearly a leader,”
Kurz said.

“I knew of him from his time in Europe with Besiktas, and I
have no doubt he will be an excellent signing.”

“I spoke with a teammate of Ersan’s during his time at
Besiktas, a German player, who praised him highly.

“This is the first signing we have completed and is just the
beginning of what we are aiming to do. I am sure we will have
more good news in the coming days.”

Originally published as
Recruiting coup as Reds sign Ersam Gulum

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