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Eric Ayuk transferred to Turkish Club

Photo: Paul Rudderow

Philadelphia Union have transferred Cameroonian winger Eric Ayuk to Turkish side Osmanlispor SK, the club announced Tuesday morning.

This comes after previous rumors of a similar transfer in late July, which had since died down.

Ayuk, 21, had been a somewhat puzzling figure for the Union. After joining the club three years ago as an 18-year-old, Ayuk contributed to the first team almost immediately, playing a whopping 28 league matches in his debut season, during which span the team also qualified for the U.S. Open Cup final. The young Cameroonian was both touted by the team and accepted by the fans as a promising young prospect with impressive skills and the celebrations to match.

Ayuk saw a dropoff in his next two-and-a-half seasons with the club, however, playing in only one first team league match in the following 2016 season and none whatsoever after that point. Similarly, the winger has only seen the pitch four-times for the Union-affiliated Bethlehem Steel this season, a club designed to give prospects the necessary playing time.

The reason for this drop off in minutes is unclear, but it could very well be simply to level-of-play. His new club, Osmanlispor, sits in the second-tier “Turkish First League” and has gone back-and-forth over the past few years between promotion to the first-tier Super Lig and relegation to its current status.

No details about the transfer in terms of compensation have been released. If Osmanlispor have offered anything in return for Ayuk, a large portion of that will go to MLS, as Ayuk was not a Philadelphia Union homegrown player. Philly Soccer Page will continue to report any more information on the delay as it is released.

Ayuk has played for several Cameroonian youth national teams, most recently in the 2017 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations. While with the Union, he started in 15 of his 29 matches played, scoring two goals and notching two assists.

6 Comments

  1. Frees up an international roster spot. Otherwise nothing much to see here.
    .
    Best of luck Eric.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      Yeah not too mad he’s gone. Didn’t love him, but didn’t see enough to be mad he’s gone. Maybe, just MAYBE, they’ll use the Int’l Roster spot wisely…

  2. Old Soccer Coach says:

    Probably Eric Ayuk’s real long-term contribution to the franchise will be to have been the first young African to have played for the Steel coming directly from Africa. If a pipeline develops, he will have been its pioneer.
    .
    While Derrick Jones has an African birthplace, he was already in Philadelphia when the Union became aware of him.

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