Oğulcan Çağlayan



By Bruno Bottaro – 21 September 2015
Technical Skills

Offensive. Flexible, Oğulcan Çağlayan starts as a doble-pivote and ends as a forward. Good character for counter-attacks and playing with wide empty spaces, his potential is not yet known. Finalyzing the action is still his weakness. 1,88 m without a great aerial game is another issue he might improve in the next years.

Defensive. Okan Buruk brought him a lot of concrete steps to the tactical freedom of the young talent. Oğulcan Çağlayan began to defend with the team, coming back to help teammates. To occupy all the positions in modern football you need a dose of sacrifice that the Ankara guy has immediately clear.






Raising in Ankara is not like growing in another place in Turkey. The capital is living a historical moment of its own, with contrasts between football and politics and continuous incentives between innovation and tradition. As the Ottoman one, officially collapsed one century ago but still alive in the imaginary of major Melih Gokçek.
He is the boss of Ankaraspor, club hated by many capital fans during all its life, strange and controversial, ended in 2014. Now the club is called Osmanlıspor, a clear call to the Ottoman origins of modern Turkey. All of this faces young talent Oğulcan Çağlayan, born in 1996, in the moment when he joins the youth sector of the most hated club in town.
The young Oğulcan has them all: qualities in the midfield, with a potential yet to discover: the best scouts of the nation are already on him since his youth. Obviously, Bursaspor: as a kid Oğulcan leaves the family, ready to begin an adventure where many young talents of the Crescent-Stars dream to grow.
By the way, in Bursa things don’t get better. Oğulcan Çağlayan tries to stand out, as his talent requires, but in the Crocodiles’ youth system there’s already a star. Born in 1997, Enes Ünal will then finish at Manchester City. At Bursaspor, at that time, there were too many forwards for just one place. With an unexpected gesture Oğulcan asks to be sold off.
From the best youth school of Turkey: a personality sign, without a doubt. Bursaspor’s directors let him go without many regrets: sent away, Oğulcan restarts from the south-eastern corner of the country. From Gaziantep, the baklava town, close to a Syria already collapsed to hatred.
It’s 2014, Oğulcan Çağlayan is 18 years-old and is playing for the red-and-black Falcons since one season, with a Süper Lig beginning. In that moment his career changes completely, a little bit more than 12 months ago.
In the summer Gaziantepspor go to Austria for a pre-season camp, against the original plans that wanted the club in Italy (Lago di Garda). The Tirol mountains welcome Oğulcan Çağlayan and Okan Buruk, that Okan known with an Inter shirt. Now Buruk is training in the Turkish league and is considered one of the emerging managers, but things were different in summer of 2014.
Coming from a relegation-year in Elaziğ (Eastern Turkey), Okan decides to restart with a difficult club with not many economic possibilities like GaziAntep. He puts himself into discussion, has a mediocre roster and not really adapt for a relegation-zone fight. Okan Buruk sees Oğulcan Çağlayan and is completely conquered by him.
The following six months will see Ankara’s 1996-born guy as a starting XI player in every forward position. There the qualities of the guy emerge. Tactically flexible, Oğulcan Çağlayan: he’s on the line before the central forward, the perfect offensive jolly needed by Gaziantepspor.
The relegation will be avoided by Gaziantep, with no more pressure for the Falcons. There something goes wrong. In January, after 5 brilliant months, a 1-million offer comes in. Gaziantep let Oğulcan Çağlayan go to Kapadokya: a difficult moment for the Ankara guy.
Always with a trolley in his hands, Çağlayan is a Kayseri Erciyesspor player, club that presents with him former Real Madrid winger Royston Drenthe. In Kayseri everything goes different, than with the tactical discipline by Okan Buruk.
Erciyesspor are confused, coaches come and go. Relegation is sure since March, Oğulcan seldom plays. When he does, he changes role: this time he’s a numer 9, another offensive revolution. A few goals, some assists. This is not sufficient, Erciyesspor go to 1.Lig. Oğulcan Çağlayan does not follow the Blue Dragons’ collapse, as many observers note him. Lazio‘s Igli Tare is seen after him, with also Aston Villa close to bring him to England. At the end “cousins” Kayserispor buy him from Erciyes on a loan.
Oğulcan Çağlayan stays in Kapadokya, always remembering Okan Buruk‘s teachings. Even if he will struggle finding playing time.

Player’s Description

Leaving the capital city (and his family) like this, then moving away from Bursa: Oğulcan Çağlayan’s choices underline a strong personality. The adaptment of 1996-born talent to every Turkish ambient is surely a strong point in his curriculum.


Winger, attacking midfielder

Pro and cons

UP: Technique, tactical flexibility, personality, speed, adaptment spirit.

DOWN: Physically weak, not cynical, aerial game.